Politicization Of Bulandshahr Rape Case

The Bulandshahr rape case has taken ugly political turns as the victims who suffered excessive trauma because of gang rape and extortion seem to have been cornered by the UP government as the accused belong to the ‘secular’ community.

The victims moved SC to file an FIR on Azam Khan and others for calling the case a ‘political conspiracy’. As per this news report, the plea says :

“Azam Khan, Minister for Urban Development of UP, called a press conference and publicly insulted the petitioner by terming the entire incident as a political conspiracy only and nothing else and thereby caused various acts and deeds being substantially outrageous to the modesty of the petitioner.”

“We request court to direct the respondents (State Home Secretary, Khan, DGP and SSP of Bulandshahr) to pay the appropriate damages to the petitioner as per the Law.”

The victims also want the case investigation to be transferred to Delhi. The UP police’s investigation was shoddy and finally the victims filed this plea after the insensitive remarks of UP minister, Azam Khan. The names of the accused in this case are Saleem Bawaria, Pervez, Zuber, Raees, Sajid Raesuddin, Sehvez and Jabar Singh.

The UP CM Akhilesh Yadav has also washed his hands off the whole episode, “Some incidents can’t be stopped..People play politics over incidents.”

Now, CBI has taken over this case recently. As per this news report :

The case has been registered following an Allahabad High Court directive on August 12. “Sections 395, 397, 376D and 342 of the Indian Penal Code, besides Section 4 of POCSO Act have been invoked,” said a CBI spokesperson.

The CBI has taken over the investigation of the case that was registered at Kotwali Dehat police station in Bulandshahr on the allegations of abduction, dacoity and rape of the woman and her daughter by about half-a-dozen assailants in the fields of Dostpur village in the intervening night of July 29-30.

3 of the accused have told CBI that they are ‘framed’ in this case, and that  ‘they are willing to go through Narco test so that truth is revealed’. One wonders if the victims will ever get justice, given the excruciatingly slow nature of our judicial system & the shoddy standards of investigation and prosecution, especially in UP – a state where police is riddled with corruption from to to bottom and where political interference by ruling SP Government has rendered law & order machinery useless.

Known Gang – Police Apathy

Shockingly, the main accused is also an accused in another highway looting and gang-raping case. Also, it seems that highway looting and raping have been going on in Bulandshahr for some time, while the police has been careless. Going by this news report:

“A chilling revelation has been made by the police about Salim Bawaria, main accused in the recent gang rape of a Noida-based woman and her teenaged daughter in Bulandshahr, a day after he was arrested from Mawana in Meerut. Police sources told TOI on Tuesday that Bawaria is also the prime suspect in a highway loot and gang rape that happened recently in Hanumangarh, Rajasthan.

More shockingly, this is not the first case of its kind that has happened on the highway. An officer posted at Bulandshahr Kotwali (rural) under whose jurisdiction village Dostpur falls (where the gang rape took place), said on the condition of anonymity that “two similar incidents had taken place on May 7 and May 12, when the same modus operandi was used to stop vehicles”. The officer said, “In those instances too, an iron rod was thrown at passing vehicles to force the driver to stop them. The occupants were robbed of their belongings but police had registered the cases a normal theft (IPC Sections 379 and 356). No effort was made to nab the culprits. We are probing if the same gang was involved in those crimes too.

Salim, police said on Tuesday, led a 15 member-gang that was operational in Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Uttarkhand and Jharkhand, and had hatched the conspiracy for the Bulandshahr attack in Kithore, Meerut, with an extensive recce that went on from July 9 to 22.”

The police has claimed that the gang members have admitted of having committed more than two dozen such crimes on highways.

This report says, “The incident could have been avoided if police had made a comprehensive inquiry into a robbery at a dhaba on the night of June 30. The main accused in the July 30 gang-rape, Raees, was involved in the incident a month earlier, but police apparently let him off then.”

Villagers Turn Vigilantes

When the State is unable to guarantee a citizen’s right to life and liberty, people are forced to take matter into their own hands. This is the root cause behind vigilantism, and mob violence. And states with the worse records on law & order today are – UP, Bihar, West Bengal.

This report says –

“The impact of the recent Bulandshahr gang rape has compelled a clutch of Baghpat villages to review their women’s security . In a panchayat held in Baraut, the elders of various villages came together to announce the formation of an indigenous `force’, Dehat Suraksha Bal, that will not only safeguard the honour of its women but also solve daily problems faced by the villagers.

The panchayat decided that the `force’, which will wear a uniform, will also have a network of informers and patrol the roads and highways. “Policing system has completely collapsed while our netas simply try to politicise such unfortunate incidents,“ the panchayat said.

Ashok Chaudhary of Kandera village said, “The Bulandshahr gang rape incident got highlighted in media. Rape cases keep happening in UP. In most of the cases, police do not even file complaints. We have lost our confidence in the system.”

Imagine the outrage if Bajrang Dal or some Hindu organization had decided to form a Dehat Suraksha Bal? But the harsh reality of life in large swathes of Bharat is that such measures are the need of the hour. Our police & judicial machinery have all but collapsed in states like UP, Bihar – especially when it comes to crimes against women. Police & judicial reforms are urgently needed – but don’t expect our comprosmised intellectuals to stress on that; they are busy sniping away at Modi for gau raksha issues. 

Distraught family – media elites silent

The details of the Bulandshahr gang rape and extortion can be read here. It captures the distraught feelings of a father describing what his daughter & wife had to go through. Here are some excerpts from the father’s heart-rending statement –

“When two of the goons tried to drag her (daughter) away to an isolated place, she fought like a champion of self-defence. But she had to surrender once they turned their firearms towards us. What could she have done when her father could not do anything?” said her father, an Ola cab driver, adding that his teen daughter is trained in karate (martial arts).

“When the attackers first grabbed her, she cried out: ‘Papa’. I tried to save her but the assaulters hit me with a hammer and after I fell unconscious, my legs and hands were tied. She did her best what she could do in her self-defence. She fought like a tigress. She is not a coward. She never accepts defeat. What we want is justice.

He said his daughter says whenever she tries to sleep, she sees their faces. “She tells me, ‘Papa, whenever I try to sleep, I see their faces’. My wife has barely eaten since the incident. She is not in a state to talk to anyone,” he said.

He threatened to commit suicide if the accused are not punished. “We were looted, brutally thrashed and we all know what my daughter had to suffer. These men need to be punished within three months. If it is not done, I, my wife and daughter will commit suicide,” he said.

“We are so embarrassed that we are unable to return to our home. How will we be able to live with respect there? We are left with no option but to leave the area,” he added. He also wants to change the school of her daughter although she does not want it. “What will she reply to her friends if they ask her about the incident?” asked the father.

While elite English journalists like Barkha Dutt have been regularly calling family members of Mohammed Akhlak for interviews and programs, or visiting the injured civilians in Kashmiri hospitals, the horror endured by this lower middle class Hindu family has not evinced even half the interest as show in the other cases. The suicide of Rohith Vemula dominated news cycle for months, and same is ongoing with Una flogging of Dalits. But the Bulandshahr gang rape case has now all but disappeared from front pages? What explains this evil apathy for Hindu pain?