Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh:
In a shocking sequence of events, a 13-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly kept at a police station for a whole night and beaten up when she wanted to lodge a rape complaint in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhatarpur city.
Three police officers were suspended on Wednesday in connection with the incident which allegedly took place on August 30, a senior official said.
Babu Khan, who is accused of raping the girl, was arrested on September 3 under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, police said.
City Kotwali police station house officer (SHO) Anoop Yadav, Sub Inspector Mohini Sharma and Assistant Sub Inspector Gurudutt Shesha were suspended for keeping the rape victim in the police station, Chhatarpur district superintendent of police Sachin Sharma told reporters on Thursday.
Joint district Collector Pratap Singh Chauhan said a complaint of rape was received from the district child welfare committee (CWC) following which the case was registered.
As per the teen’s mother, the girl went out of the house to play on August 27 but did not return, so her father lodged a missing person complaint at the Kotwali police station next day.
On August 30, the girl returned and told her parents that Babu Khan had forcibly taken her to his house, confined her there, and raped her for three days.
“We went to the police station to get a complaint registered. Two policewomen put pressure on my daughter to change her statement. They beat up my daughter. Another police officer took me outside. Inside, my daughter was kicked and beaten with belts,” she alleged.
The girl was allegedly kept at the station the whole night while her parents waited outside.
Even on August 31 when they went back to the police station and asked inspector Yadav to register a case, they were driven out, the girl’s mother alleged.
Finally, on the evening of September 1 police registered a case of rape against the accused but did not include the charge of kidnapping, she said.
In the First Information Report, the girl’s age has been shown as 17 years and it does not mention the charge of kidnapping.
CWC member Afsar Jahan said the police seemed to be trying to save the culprit and to get the victim change her story.
Saurabh Bhatnagar, another CWC member, said the Child Welfare Committee asked police for documents about her age after learning that her age was shown as 17 years instead of 13.
When a CWC team visited the girl’s house, inspector Yadav was there with the accused who was in handcuffs, Bhatnagar said, adding that as per law, a rape accused cannot be brought in the victim’s presence.
Besides, law also forbids male police officers from recording the statement of a woman rape victim, he pointed out.