Uttarakhand: HC raps Rawat govt for inaction over minor girl gang rape

An HC bench has asked the BJP govt of Uttarakhand to constitute a Special Investigation Team within 48 hours to conduct a thorough inquiry into the gang-rape and murder of a12-year-old Dalit girl

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Sunita Shahi

Annoyed over the lackadaisical attitude of the police in dealing with the gang-rape and murder of a minor Dalit girl from Uttarkashi district by a labourer of neighbouring Tehri Garhwal district, the High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital has stood by the protesters and asked Trivendra Singh Rawat government to prevent such cases.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Manoj Tiwari also asked the BJP government to constitute a Special Investigation Team within 48 hours to conduct a thorough inquiry into the gang-rape and murder of the 12-year-old Dalit girl and take the case to a logical conclusion within six months.

While asking the government to provide adequate security to the parents and elder sister of the victim, the court also warned media to refrain from making the identity of such victims’ public. Some news channels had shown the parents of the victim.

The girl was allegedly kidnapped by Mukesh Lal Banti, a 24-year-old man, who used to work as a labourer with the victim’s father. He had reportedly kidnapped the girl on Friday night and her body was recovered from outside her village after a few hours. Although the police was clueless and has been aimlessly detaining and releasing different sets of labourers from Bihar, who have been working in Uttarkashi in one or the other private projects, the people of Uttarkashi and neighbouring districts had begun to protest massively, prompting the government to request the army to keep 200 jawans in reserve for any emergency. Internet services were also severed from Sunday after a rumour was spread on social sites that the accused belonged to a particular community.

It is expected to be restored on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference in Uttrakashi on Tuesday, Ajay Rautela, DIG of Garhwal range said the accused and the victim belonged to the same caste.

“We arrested Mukesh on the basis of information provided to us by the elder sister of the victim. She had run away to her relative’s house in another village after receiving a threat call from the accused that he would kidnap her. So the accused, kidnapped her younger sister, raped and then killed her,” said Rautela.

Although the police officer claimed the crime was committed only by Mukesh, but the post mortem report had indicated towards agang-rape before murder.

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