Dalit girl gang-raped, murdered and hanged from a tree in Gujarat

The whole nation shocked by the heinous rape and murder of the veterinary doctor in Hyderabad and after which, the 6-year-old girl was raped and strangled to death by her school belt in Rajasthan and then another shocking atrocity happened when a 9-year-old girl was raped and strangled to death. Recently, a Hyderabad-like rape and murder incident took place at Kumarganj, South Dinajpur in West Bengal.

Now, a Dalit girl was gang-raped, murdered and her body was hung from a tree. After the body of a 19-year-old girl was found hanging from a banyan tree in Saira village in Gujarat’s Modasa on January 5, hundreds of people staged a protest at the Ahmedabad civil hospital demanding immediate arrest of the culprits and suspension of the police officer on duty.

The family had alleged that the police authorities didn’t register an FIR when they first approached on January 1, soon after the woman went missing.

“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,” said the woman’s aunt.

She had gone to Modasa, a town in Gujarat with her sister but didn’t return since then. Later, the sister disclosed that a man named Bimal Bharwad lifted the woman on to his car and then asked her to keep quiet about it. The CCTV of a running mill confirmed this claim.

The car which was seen in the footage was found to be registered in the name of Bimal’s father Bharat Bharwad.

Bimal told the woman’s family that the car was taken by three of his friends, Darshan Bharwad, Satish Bharwad and Jigar.

On January 3, the inspector at the Modasa police station N.K. Rabari notified the woman’s family that she married a man from her community and would come back. Needless to say, on the very next day, Rabari added that he didn’t have any jurisdiction regarding the matter and asked the family to approach Sabalpur police station.

On Sunday, the priest of a nearby temple discovered the body hanging from the tree and then informed the villagers who called the police.

On January 7, the woman’s grandfather registered FIR against Bimal and his three friends accusing them of gang-rape and murder.

The girl’s body was brought to the Ahmedabad civil hospital on Tuesday. The family also refused to accept the body until the accused are arrested and Rabari is suspended for not doing his duty.

“The protesters met me and sought a copy of the post mortem report. We have conveyed their sentiments to the relevant police authorities. Meanwhile, a panel postmortem was conducted at the hospital on Wednesday,” said the superintendent at the hospital Gunvant Rathod.

Meanwhile, activists demanded immediate arrest of the accused involved in the matter and then they also demanded suspension of the police inspector for his actions. “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,” said Kirti Rathod, a Dalit activist.

Meanwhile, KK Ojha, additional DGP (ADGP) of the SC/ST Cell in Gujara assured the protesters that strict action will be taken against the accused. “We have asked local police deputy superintendent to arrest the accused as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we have initiated a departmental inquiry to see if there was indeed negligence on part of the police in this matter,” said Ojha.