Dalit woman gang raped by dominant caste men in Rathaudan village, Rajasthan; commits suicide – Statement by All India Dalit Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM)

On July 22nd 2017, a 30 year old Dalit woman, Mrs. Nainu Devi was gang-raped by two Rajput men in Rathaudan village of Badmer district, Rajasthan. Nainu Devi lived with her husband Nirma Ram and two children aged 10 and 1.5 years old in a secluded house which is situated on the farm of the accused.

The incident took place in the field of the accused Tan Singh S/O Khet Singh and Lakh Singh S/O Khet Singh from 10-11 PM on July 22nd. She filed a complaint against the two on July 24th. The police handed over the case to the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) to conduct the investigations. During this time, the accused attempted to intimidate the victim with threats and tried to convince her to withdraw the case against them. Following this, Nainu Devi approached the police seeking security on 17th and 28th August and informed the authorities about the death threats she and her family were receiving from the accused. The police however, did not provide her with any protection in spite of her repeated complaints.

On August 31st, under CrPc 164 which allows a statement to be recorded by a magistrate, Nainu Devi’s statement was recorded. On the night of 11th September, at 7:30 PM Nainu Devi was found by her family members to have committed suicide in the water tank of her house. Though they took her to the hospital, she was declared dead on arrival. From 12th – 14th September her family protested with her dead body in front of the Block office in Chohatan.

Following this, one of the accused Tan Singh was arrested on 13th and the other, Lakh Singh was arrested on 14th September. Cases have been registered under IPC sec 458, 366, 376 and under the SC/ST POA Act. Additionally, Tejpal Singh, Chandan Singh, Leel Singh, Kesar Singh, Leel Singh, Ganga Singh and Khet Singh have been named as the accused in an FIR registered against them for intimidating Nainu Devi and family to withdraw the rape case. On 14th Sept, the Superintendent of Police (SP) in Badmer district has sent a letter to the DYSP asking for an enquiry as to why after 15 days of the crime, the accused were not apprehended and ordering action against the negligent officers.

The All India Dalit Adhikaar Manch will be following up on this case to ensure justice is meted out to the family of Nainu Devi. Sept 16th, an AIDMAM fact finding team will visit the area to bring out more details about this case. Please do publish this news widely so as to build pressure nationally to ensure that caste based sexual violence is not carried on everyday with impunity.

The All India Dalit Adhikaar Manch demands that:

  • The case should be tried and the accused must be convicted without any delays in a fast track court.
  • The proper implementation of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in all such cases of caste based sexual violence
  • Adequate compensation be given to the family of Nainu Devi
  • Disciplinary action is taken against the police for not providing protection to Nainu Dev or arresting the accused speedily despite repeated complaints.
  • The rest of the accused who are named for intimidating Nainu Devi and family be immediately arrested.

Featured Image Credit: Satyakam Jan Kalyan Samiti

All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM) is a movement initiated and promoted by NCDHR (National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights) at the national level to focus exclusively on Dalit women. Its genesis is rooted in an attempt to address severe vulnerabilities faced by the 80 million Dalit women and girls who are socially excluded and lie at the bottom of India’s caste, class and gender hierarchies.

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