NEW DELHI: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had directed the Superintendent of Police, Jhajjar in Haryana, to submit a factual report on the alleged rape and subsequent death of a woman farmer activist from West Bengal who joined the farmers protest at Delhi-Tikri Border.
The NHRC on Wednesday sought the report from the SP along with all supporting documents like a copy of the complaint, FIR, case diaries, medical treatment, record of the victim and the status of the investigation, within four weeks.
The NHRC also directed the Jhajjar District Magistrate to submit proof of payment of the ex-gratia paid to the family members of the deceased girl as per the victim compensation scheme of the State within four weeks.
The Jhajjar district administration responded to the investigation division of the NHRC, pursuant to a petition filed by noted rights activist and seasoned human rights lawyer of the Supreme Court, Radhakanta Tripathy.
The NHRC in its order stated: “Instant complaint, from well known human rights activist, is regarding the allegation that one women activist hailing from West Bengal who came to participate in farmers’ protest at Delhi-Haryana Tikri border was allegedly gangraped at the protest site. An FIR was registered by her father against six accused persons. It is further stated that the victim died at a Jhajjar hospital, on April 30, 2021, after showing COVID-like symptoms.”
Tripathy alleged that the incident happened due to the inaction, negligence and failure of the police and health department of the Haryana Government in providing adequate protection, healthcare and justice.
Her father is said to be running from the pillar to post for justice.
Tripathy also requested the NHRC for heavy compensation to the family members of the deceased, a fair, independent and impartial investigation and strict legal action against accused persons.
The Investigation Division of the NHRC informed that according to police, the father of the victim, a resident of Hooghly, West Bengal submitted a complaint alleging rape allegation with his daughter on May 9, 2021.
In this regard, a case was registered under various sections, including 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy), 354 (Outraging the modesty of a woman), 506 (Criminal Intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in the Bahadurgarh area police station, on the same day against the accused.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted in the matter. Two named accused are at large and efforts are being made to arrest them. Notices to seven persons, who are believed to know about the occurrence of the crime, have been sent to record their statement and ascertain other facts.
The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Bahadurgarh has also informed that the victim was admitted to a private hospital at Bahadurgarh, on April 25, due to COVID-19 and died on April 30. The dead body was cremated in the presence of her father but no complaint was given then to the police. Since there was no complaint, no inquest or autopsy of the victim was conducted, Tripathy said.
However, an investigation is underway and the police is trying their best to collect the evidence, Bahadurgarh Deputy Superintendent of Police said, adding that the father of the victim left for West Bengal on May 10 and no ex-gratia payment under the victim compensation scheme to the family of the victim has been provided.
He also denied any delay or inaction on the part of the police, the report added.