ISSUES: Sexual assault, corruption; impunity; threat, right to live with dignity, Right to life with dignity, forced burning, Murder, Right to Education, Masculinity, police torture, attack on human rights defender ……………………………………………………………………………………………
3rd January, 2015 (On the occasion of Savitri Bai Phules' Birthday http://www.pvchr.net/2015/01/on-auspicious-occasion-of-birthday-of.html)
Name of survivors:
- Shama (name changed) d/o Amin baba
- Kuraisa Beebi w/o Amin baba
- Amin Baba s/o Late Mohd. Siddique
- Wasim s/o Amin baba
- Naseem s/o Amin baba
- Alim s/o Amin baba
Address: C15/50K-2, Mata Kund, Lallapura under Sigra jurisdiction of Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh, India.
Name of Perpetrator:
- Gappu s/o Umar resident of Lallapura, Sigra, Varanasi
- Babudan s/o Umar resident of Lallapura, Sigra, Varanasi
- Pappu s/o Bachau resident of Lallapura, Sigra, Varanasi
- Police officials of Mata kund police outpost under Sigra police station, Varanasi.
Date and place of Incidence: 18th December, 2014, C15/50K-2, Mata Kund, Lallapura under Sigra jurisdiction of Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh, India
Details of case:
In the most barbaric crimes against women, a young girl was put on fire with the intention to burn her alive in Matakund police post under Sigra police station in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh. The incident took place around 11 to 12 PM of 18 December 2014, when the accused forcibly entered the house of Mohammed Ameen Baba (resident of C15/50K-2, Mata Kund, Lallapura under Sigra jurisdiction of Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh, India) and set his daughter Shama (name changed) ablaze by sprinkling kerosene on her. The girl was battling for her life in a hospital since 26 December, 2014. 20 year old Shama (name changed) was the only girl in her family who was studying and had dreams of getting a job and supporting her poor family. Shama was being molested by 3 boys since June 2014. On 18th Dec the boys entered her house and tried to rape her while her family was away. Shama put up a fight and screamed out loud. The boys then poured kerosene and burnt her. She died on 26 December 2014.
The crime was committed by some police informers after the parents of the girl made complaint against them. The accused police informers have been constantly making advances in the past few months trying to molest and sexually abuse the young girl.
Realising the severity of the crime, The People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights of Varanasi has written to the Member of Parliament of Varanasi & Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Akhilesh Yadav, the National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Women, and the senior district and police officers urging them to intervene in the case and form a high-level inquiry team to initial legal action against all the accused parties. It has also demanded that the Family of Shama (name changed) should be paid a compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs. Police officials found guilty of not following the due process of law in the case should be tried under section 166 A of IPC. This heinous crime underscores the urgent need to implement police reforms and pass the Anti-Torture Bill pending in Rajya Sabha(Upper house of Indian Parliament) and also highlights the need to ratify the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT) by the government of India. A careful reading of the facts of the events reveals that rule of law is completely missing and instead it seems that informers at the service of police department are dictating the law and order in the city. Even the police actions are in violation of guidelines given by the Supreme Court of India and directions of the high police officials are not being followed.
The family of the victim has been complaining about the obscene behaviour of these police informers with their daughter since 13 June, 2014, but their voice went in vain in front of the gigantic police hierarchy. Shama writes in her petition to Senior Superintendent of Police, Varanasi on 13 June 2014, “They snatch my dupatta and I started to scream to save my dignity. They throw Gamcha (cotton clothes) and I fainted and fall in the ground. They had torn my clothes. Anyhow I save my dignity and ran away to my house. I informed to my parents and they took me Sigra police station where I informed all woes. But nothing happen, because culprits are very close to Matakund police out-post.”
Instead of taking any action on their complaint, the police have been harassing and threatening the family. Tacit support and inaction on the part of Varanasi police emboldened the morale of the accused who finally committed the heinous crime.
The incident clearly shows that crime of sexual abuse of a young girl was being done with the support of Matakund Police post. This is not an isolated incident in the area. In yet another case in Lahanga Khurd Lallapur locality under the Sigra police station, a 10 year old minor boy Babloo ( name changed) working with a sari cloth merchant Mr. Salauddin was confined in a house for 7 hours and badly beaten and tortured by the said merchant by falsely accusing him of stealing Rs. 20 lakhs. This incident occurred on 31 August 2014 and Mr. Hamid (Babu Lal), father of the minor boy sent his written complaint by registered post to the local police station including the higher police officials. On the contrary the Sigra police station filed an FIR against the minor boy and his parents on the complaint by the sari merchant Salauddin. In the said incident immediate action should have been taken by the police against Mr. Salauddin under the Child labour Prohibition Act and Juvenile Justice Act for forcing a minor boy into child labour and torturing him physically. Similarly in the case of burning of the young girl, the police department instead of following the due course of law seems giving full protection to the violators of law.
All the accused in the young girl case were working as police informers for Matakund police post and they were serving as cooks and washer men for the police officials of Matakund police post. The victim and her family had already given their complaint many times against the criminal conducts of the informers in Matakund police post, Lallapura and Singra police station. The aggrieved family never got any help from the police and the victim, Shama(name Changed) unable to put up the behaviour of informers got frustrated and was finally forced to discontinue her studies in between. Shama stopped coming out of her home due the constant fear of sexual harassment. Whenever she dared to came out of her house to buy household items or to attend the sewing classes, she continuously faced sexual harassment by the police informers. Her parents repeatedly complained to the police about this.
The aggrieved family approached the office of People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), Varanasi on December 8, 2014 and complained about the police negligence and inaction in their matter. They also narrated their painful story. On the advice of PVCHR in December 11, 2014 the aggrieved family filed a written complaint in the office of I G Varanasi zone about the atrocities and torture being meted out to them. The PRO of IG, Varanasi zone called up the Sigra police station and directed the police officials there to take this case seriously. It is necessary to mention here that Sigra police station in charge was also responsible to look after the daily affairs of Matakund police post so negligence on the part of police here was inevitable. After this the victim Shama along with her parents gave a written complaint to the IG, Varanasi zone on 12 December, 2014 and on their complaint IG, Varanasi zone gave the responsibility to SSP Varanasi to investigate the whole matter(Public Grievance registration Number 151). It is noted that petition mentioned about sexual assault and possibility of acid-attack. Despite all this, Sigra police station and Matakund police post officials neither registered a police FIR against three accused namely Babudan, Gabbu and Pappu nor did they take any legal action against them. The accused police informers were not happy with the victim’s family for filing a complaint against them. With the tacit support of the police and police inaction in the case further boosted the confidence of the accused informers. As a consequence they decided to forcibly enter the house of Mohammed Ameen at around 11 to 12 PM of 18 December, 2014 and set the victim Shama ablaze by sprinkling kerosene on her (From Medico-legal report of Shri Shiv Prasad Gupta Mandaliya District Hospital, Varanasi (number 6286, dated 18 December 2014): Dermo-epidermal burn involving whole body except head, front of chest, middle part back and both foot. Smell of kerosene present.). Police filed First information report (496/14) on 2.30 PM of 18 December, 2014 under 354 A and 326 IPC. It is noted that Shama provided her statement before magistrate. We learnt from Newspapers that Pappu arrested on 18 December and other two accused arrested on 20 December. After death of Shama, police included other section under Indian Penal Code. But PVCHR and family of Survivor do not receive any official document for it.
It is noted that on 22nd December, 2014 Amar Ujala published that on 9th October, 2009 till now police imposed nine cases on her brother. In many cases he was released with respect and police was unable to prove facts in court. That’s why police of Mata Kund out post also had relationship of enemy with this family.
Now PVCHR is directly and indirectly receiving pressure from various stakeholders with the manipulative facts about the case.
It is a tragic irony that on the one hand India has been honoured with Noble peace prize for protection the rights of child in general & girls children in particular and education but on the other one also witnesses the grave injustice and insensitivity as shown by the police officials in Matakund police post in this case that not only boosted the morale of criminals but also tacitly supported them to commit such a heinous crime in an organised fashion. As a result the young survivor sacrificed her life on 26 December 2014 as fighting the battle of her dignity of life in the hope of getting justice for her and her family and similarly the minor boy is still bearing the scars of police torture.
Government of India should be implement immediately follows:
- Ratification of UNCAT
- . Enactment of domestic law against torture
- . Implementation of Police reform
State Government of Uttar Pradesh should be implement follow:
- Investigation of the case by independent investigation agency i.e. CBCID or CBI
- Protection to family of survivors and Human Rights Defenders associated with case.
- Compensation of ten hundred thousand rupees to families with rehabilitation of family of survivor.
- . Initiate criminal case against police under IPC 166A
Article 354 A of IPC (Indian Penal Code):- Assault or use of Criminal force to women with intent to disrobe her –
Whoever assaults or uses criminal forces to any woman or abets or conspires to assault or uses such criminal force to any woman intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that by such assault, he will thereby outrage or causes to be outraged the modesty of the woman by disrobing or compels her to be naked on any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment or either description for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
Article 326 of IPC: - Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means. –
Whoever, except in the case provided for by Section 335, voluntarily, causes grievous hurt by means of any instrument for shooting, stabbing or cutting, or any instrument which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, or by means of fire or any heated substance, or by means of any poison or any corrosive substance, or by means of any explosive substance, or by means of any substance which it is deleterious to the human body to inhale, to swallow, or to receive into blood, or by means of any animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
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