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Is it permissible to let a woman fall prey by hiding such incidents?

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From the so-called ‘Farmers Protest’ now comes shocking news of a woman allegedly being gang-raped at the Tikri border in Haryana. It was known that the 25-year-old woman was tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to a hospital in the Jhajjar district in Haryana on April 26.

 The First Information Report was filed by the victim’s father on April 11. The police officials said they have made an SIT of three inspectors supervised by the DSP with the cyber cell to track the lead of the case. A case has been filed against the 4 accused under various Sections 120B, 342,354, 365,376D and 506.

 As per the report filed by the father of the woman aged around 25 years, came to Tikri border protest site from West Bengal with a group to join the farmers’ protest still continuing at the borders of Haryana, and Delhi against the Central Farm Laws.

 A series of the dates since the woman met the group of ‘Kisan Social Army’ in West Bengal till the date of her succumbed to death are as follows:

On April 1, a delegation of 6 persons namely Anil Malik, Anup Singh Chanaut, Ankur Sangwan, Kavita Arya under the banner named “Kisan Social Army” (KSA), Jagdish Brar from Keste Kisan Union (KKU) and Yogita Suhag an independent activist reached West Bengal to campaign as a part of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM).

 On April 4, the father and his daughter met the group at Srirampur and Chandan Nagar, Hooghly district, West Bengal.

 On April 11, the woman left with the group from Howrah Station to travel to the Tikri border.

 On April 26, she was admitted to a hospital in the Jhajjar district of Haryana after she showed the Covid symptoms after having a mild fever.

 On April 30, the woman died allegedly due to Covid while she was under treatment.

 As per the reports and the police officer at Bahadurgarh police station, Vijay Kumar, “She died on April 30. Her father has filed a case of rape against two men.” Kumar further added that the complaint of the father included that his daughter was allegedly sexually assaulted by two men of the same group she travelled with from Howrah to support the farmers’ protest at Tikri Border.

The whole incident of the wrongdoings been done to her was narrated by the lady to her father over the phone. He said that the woman passed away during her treatment and that she was being treated as a Covid patient by the hospital authorities. He added, “We have applied for the documents, which are awaited, and only after we get them can we confirm that her death was Covid related.”

 In the father’s complaint, six accused were named identified as Anup Singh Chanaut, Anil Malik, Ankur Sangwan, Kavita Arya, Jagdish Brar, and Yogita Suhag who went to campaign in West Bengal as a part of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKU). The complaint noted that the woman met the group and expressed interest to be a part of the farmers’ protest and they left for the location on April 11 from Howrah Station.

 The daughter called her father and described the misdeeds been done to her by Anup S Singh and Anil Malik portraying them as “they were not decent persons”. She quoted that during the travel when everyone slept, the two miscreants came closer to her and tried to forcibly kiss her. On her strict denial and warning, they tried to pressurize and blackmail her. The father in his complaint stated that his daughter was not only being forced on the train but also in the tent at the protest site. She was even forced to share the tent with the accused. And he asked her to take some woman over there in confidence and tell them her suffering.

 On April 16, she talked about the incident to Yogita and Jagdish who were part of the troop in travel and they recorded a video statement of her. He called Yogita and asked her to forward the video statement to him.

 On April 17, Yogita informed her father that her condition wasn’t well and that she passed blood in her urine. The lady was then moved to a women’s tent on April 18.

On April 21, she had a mild fever and on testing was confirmed to be Covid positive. As she began facing difficulties in breathing on April 24, she was admitted to a hospital in the Jhajjar district of Haryana on April 26 and later expired allegedly due to Covid on April 30.

 With many reports coming across the AAP connection is also detected in the case. As per the reports, the prime accused Anup Singh was an active member of the Aam Admi Party from the Hisar region. Another prime accused Anil Malik is also an AAP member in Delhi. And these two accused were actively supporting the farmers’ protests from the very beginning under the banner of the “Kisan Social Army.”

 What did the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha do as a protest leading group?

The SKM Sanyukta Kisan Morcha claimed that on being informed about the case they decided to be stringent towards the group of “Kisan Social Army” and had removed their tents from the protest site a few days back. In a statement, they claimed to fight to seek justice with a logical conclusion.

 Jasbeer Kaur Natt, Punjab Kisan Union leader said, “It is a matter of serious concern which needs to be debated threadbare. Here at the protest, there is no difference between males and females, and women in large numbers are participating. The farmers will investigate and ensure no such thing is allowed to happen again.” Notably, Natt was in woman’s contact before her demise.

 It is to be noted that since the news of the woman’s death has been circulated, one of the prime accused Anup has been missing from the protest site.

 As per the Covid guidelines, no procession is allowed to be carried out in case of the deceased being corona positive and these protocols were even neglected as the protestors took the body out in a procession even though she allegedly died due to Covid.

 The Professional Farmers’ leader Yogendra Yadav on Monday, April 10 in a press conference admitted that he knew about the sexual assault being done to the woman on the protest site. Here is what he gave as his explanation in the press conference.

 Yadav said that the SKM under a call to defeat the Bhartiya Janata Party BJP in West Bengal elections sent many groups to the spot to change the wave against the BJP. He said that a group of 6 named “Kisan Social Army” was also among them (passing on a waiver that) he wasn’t aware of any such team.

 He reiterated the events of the woman being coming into contact with the group and the accused’s misdeeds with her on-board Delhi. He added that on April 12 they reached Delhi and she was sexually assaulted furthermore at the spot. He claimed the leaders were unaware of the event. And he came to know about her around April 24 when her father approached him for her Covid treatment.

 Yadav further says since his wife knows Bengali, he convinced her to talk to the woman to assure her of the help. The woman at that time indicated about the harassment but ‘she didn’t specify’ he asserts. On April 25, he spoke to the woman as she was moved somewhere else. He said, “Since I speak some Bangla, I asked her if the people taking her away were nice people, she said no. I got suspicious. I asked her to make me talk to them. When I spoke to them, Anil and Anup were in the car. I asked them where they are taking her. They informed me they are taking her to Bengal to her father.”

 He added that the two claimed to have reached Agra but on cross-checking and asking the woman to send him her live location on WhatsApp; the location noted them to be in Haryana. Later he called the woman and instructed the accused “if you do not take us seriously, we will have to take strict action. Bring the car back to Delhi.”

He quoted that after the last rites were performed on May 1, the father narrated to him the whole incident and then he came to know about it wholly. He said the committee on May 3 met at the Tikri border to discuss and decided to stand by the victim. He asserted, the committee took the steps they could. They took the steps of ‘boycotting them, removal of tents, appeal for a social boycott.’

 They left the decision to ‘take legal actions on the accused’ on the father as his daughter asked him to seek justice but not ‘defame Sanyukta Kisan Morcha’. Ultimately, the father decided to walk on the legal path.

 The moot point here arises that being informed about the gang-rape incident why did the ‘farmers’ leader’ Yogendra Yadav turn a blind eye, chose to stay quiet and decided not to take any stringent actions beforehand?  Knowing the event of misdeeds of fellow protestors, why the police complaint was not filed, and was there any ‘specific reason’ behind not going legal with the prime accuses? Were there any tries to hide such a predicament like a ‘gang-rape’ in the name of farmers’ protests?

 There are many questions unanswered as yet, but the main question is, Is it permissible to let a woman fall prey by hiding such incidents?

[author title=”Shreya Gohel” image=”http://localhost/gc2/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/20210127_014031.jpg”]Intern, Goa Chronicle[/author]

DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author

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