After the body of a 19-year-old Dalit girl, who was allegedly kidnapped, gang-raped and murdered, was found hanging from a tree near a village of Modasa in north Gujarat on 5 January, hundreds of residents thronged the Ahmedabad civil hospital demanding the arrest of the culprits and suspension of the police officer on duty.
A panel of doctors at the Ahmedabad civil hospital on 8 January conducted the postmortem after the police lodged a case of kidnapping, gangrape and murder against four people.
According to a The Hindu report, the four accused had allegedly kidnapped the victim and gang-raped her before killing her. After murdering the victim, the perpetrators hanged her body from a tree to make it appear like a case of suicide.
The victim had gone missing on 31 December, 2019, after which her family approached the police on 1 January to lodge an FIR but, the local police refused.
The Wire quoted the girl's aunt as saying, "When she went missing, her father went to file a complaint, but the police did not accept it. They did not file the rape FIR till two days after the body was found."
According to the report, on 3 January, police inspector at the Modasa police station NK Rabari informed the family that the girl had married a man from the same community and would come back.
However, the next day, Rabari refused to register a case saying that he didn’t have any jurisdiction in the matter. He further asked the family to approach Sabalpur police station.
On 5 January, the victim’s body was found hanging from a tree.
Her family members refused to accept the body, claiming that it was a murder and not a suicide, National Herald reported.
The police registered an FIR on 7 January naming four people – Bimal Bharvad, Darshan Bharvad, Satish Bharvad and Jigar in the case.
Her body was brought to the Ahmedabad civil hospital on Wednesday. The family has refused to accept her body until the accused are arrested and Rabari is suspended for neglecting his duty.
The case was registered under various provisions and sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act after thousands of Dalits protested in front of the local police station.
Apart from the family, activists have also demanded the arrest of the accused in the matter.
Kirti Rathod, a Dalit activist, was quoted by The Wire as saying, "We have two demands. The perpetrators of this horrific crime should be arrested and the police inspector should be suspended for his actions. Only then will the family accept the body."
According to The Week, the girl was laid to rest on Thursday. "Thousands of people, including Dalits, gathered in the funeral procession of the victim," the report said.
Meanwhile, citing sources, reports claimed that "asphyxia as a result of hanging" has come out as the cause of death of the deceased girl. However, they added, other details, including if she was raped, will be clear only once the post-mortem report is out.
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Updated Date: Jan 10, 2020 16:45:37 IST