#India- Inmate serving life sentence marries girlfriend inside jail #humanrights


SNAPSHOT, Posted on Jan 25, 2013

In a unique wedding ceremony, an inmate, serving life term in a murder case, tied the knot with his girlfriend in the court premises in Jind, Haryana, after a special permission. Sanjay, a resident of Sonepat ditrict, married his girlfriend Mamta following a special three-hour permission given by court. The marriage ceremony, that took place at the park inside the court campus, was attended by family members from both sides, besides a number of lawyers and court employees. In December last year, the girl, through Sanjay’s counsel, had moved a petition before the court requesting permission for marriage.

 

 

#India-Haryana’s bestial rape chronicles or where a rapist is considered ‘a real man’ #Vaw


Police indifference, panchayat interference and a regressive mindset ensure that rapes in Haryana will never stop, say Sai Manish andPriyanka Dubey

 Click to zoom

BEYOND THE chowmein and the Om Prakash Chautala jokes, the scourge of rapes is very real in Haryana. So real that it’s hair-raising. So real, it even makes one wonder whether calling Haryana the rape capital is politically incorrect.

Illustration: Sudeep Chaudhuri

Sample this. On 8 December 2010, in the little known village of Pillu Kheda in Jind district, a 13-year-old girl was abducted by four boys, raped and left by the roadside. The girl somehow managed to crawl to a brick kiln for help, only to be raped again by two workers there. When she was finally let go in the evening, an autorickshaw driver offered to give her a lift, only to rape her again and dump her on the same road. Left for dead and crying for help, the young teen was picked up by a truck driver and his aide, who — not surprisingly by now — raped her repeatedly for nine days. The police eventually found the girl at a woman’s house in Panipat after her father had filed a missing complaint.

The police claims it has most of the perpetrators in custody, but activists say four rapists were let off after the panchayat intervened. This has been the familiar pattern in almost all rape cases in Haryana. A girl is raped — gangraped in most cases — and the police go through the motions of arresting a few people, only to set them free after the panchayat intervenes on their behalf. No one cares what happens to the victim, not a thought is spared; in fact, she is often forced to leave the village and never come back again.

Instead of serving as a deterrent, the Pillu Kheda rape case only seemed to encourage similar occurences. In a ghastly reminder of the 2010 rape, in July 2011, a 3½-year-old girl was raped by three men in the village. A year later, the police arrested the rapists and filed a chargesheet in August 2012. A look at the records of 2012 in the DSP office in Safido, Jind, reveals a shocking picture. In a space of five months, between February and June, a town of barely 3,000 people had witnessed six rapes. Rapes have not only become commonplace in Pillu Kheda, they are the norm. Another case recorded on 21 September was of a Dalit woman raped by three men in her house, who also filmed the heinous act on their mobile phones. It was only when the woman’s 7-year-old daughter saw her mother being raped from the window and screamed for help that the rapists left. In this case, the woman had clearly identified all three men, but the police is yet to prepare a chargesheet, waiting instead for the customary 60-day period to end before acting.

The speed at which police work is done is a major cause for concern in Haryana. “The laxity of the police is shameful,” says Jagmati Sangwan, state president of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA). “There is a rape epidemic in Haryana and the main reason is that instead of putting culprits behind bars, the cops target activists who raise their voice against the system.” Even as repeated rapes catch a slumbering police unawares, many believe that deterrence cannot work in Haryana given the regressive mindset in the state, symbolised by the heavy interference of panchayats in every sphere of life, more so in cases of rape.

Even though khap panchayats strictly oppose same gotra marriages, they are silent when a girl is raped within a family

In Durjanpur village, Jind, Balwant alias Krishan, a Dalit of the Gosain caste, sits outside his hut on the outskirts of the village. It’s been six years since her schoolteacher raped Krishan’s 16-year-old daughter Rani* inside a classroom. An academically weak student, Rani was lured with a promise to elevate her to the next class and taken by surprise as PT instructor Rameshwar raped her inside the room while Maths teacher Ram Kumar Punia sat guard outside. Both Rameshwar and Punia belong to the Jat caste. Krishan gestures with his eye towards the panchayat members who keep an unrelenting watch on him. “Speak to the sarpanch. I have nothing to say,” he says.

It’s difficult to tell if it is a sense of loss or intimidation that suppresses memories of the days when Krishan and his daughter became the talk of a whole nation. When the attention died down, he took Rani out of school and married her off in another village, never again to set foot in the village “she had brought disrepute to”.

Caste, like police inaction and panchayat interference, plays a major role in how rape victims are perceived in Haryana. As the 14 villages surrounding Durjanpur are dominated by the Punia clan, it was decided that Rani would tell the court that Punia had only “insulted” her while Rameshwar, who belonged to neighbouring Uklana town, was the actual rapist. A sessions court sentenced Rameshwar to 10 years of imprisonment while Punia was declared not guilty. No one knows what transpired in the time when the girl had initially claimed that two men had raped her and when she recorded that one just mocked her after she was raped. For in Durjanpur, like hundreds of other villages in Haryana, fear triumphs over truth, false honour prevails over justice and clan loyalties often dictate statements of rape victims.

Ulka Mahajan
‘The guilty should be punished, but if the boy is not guilty and the girl is known to sleep around with many men, then we do not encourage a police investigation’
Daljit Singh
Sarpanch, Dhani Pirawala village
Photos: Arun Sehrawat

Between January and August this year, there have been 455 reported cases of rape in Haryana; hundreds go unreported. “There is no fear of the law in Haryana,” says Hisar-based advocate Rajat Kalsan, fighting the Dabra case involving the rape of a 16-year-old Dalit girl. “That’s because most of the administrative machinery, the state police and the judiciary is dominated by people whose relatives have a major hold on panchayats in the state. The Jats have terrorised the Dalits and backward castes and have become a law onto themselves.” Although women across castes have been raped, most victims are Dalits.

The caste factor plays out again and again with every reported instance of rape. Puneeta’s*, 19, a Dalit girl from Banwasa village of Sonipat district, is one such horror story. Married in July, Puneeta was visiting her marital home, when tragedy befell her. “On 28 September, when everyone had gone to work, and Puneeta was alone at home, our neighbour Maafi came and told her that her husband Sunil was waiting for her at the railway gate nearby,” says Puneeta’s 18-year-old brother, Gurmeet. “Initially, Puneeta was reluctant to leave the house empty, but when Maafi insisted, she left to meet her husband. He was anyway supposed to come the next day to take her home.”

At the crossing, Puneeta did not meet her husband, but two youths, Sunil and Sanjay from nearby Khandari village, who forced her into a car and drove away. They were soon joined by two more men from Ahemadpur Manjra, and together they took Puneeta to a deserted shed in the middle of a farm. There they raped and beat her repeatedly for the next five days.

At the family’s complaint, the police arrested the four rapists and Maafi. Puneeta’s family is waiting for justice to be done. But, justice is a mere word in Haryana, not necessarily concomitant with a crime like rape. After all, the state has the most skewed sex ratio in the country. There has to be something to that.

JITENDRA PRASAD, a leading social scientist, believes the reason for the increasing crimes against women in Haryana is the tendency to look down upon women. “The society here is so patriarchal and male-dominated that men are not ready to accept women as equals or even humans,” he says.

Prasad talks of the hypocrisy in the khap system. “Even the khap panchayats have maintained double standards in matters relating to women,” he adds. “While they strictly oppose same gotra marriages, they are at the same time silent when people rape women within their own families. There are only 830 girls for every 1,000 boys here. The skewed sex ratio is certainly one of the reasons for the increasing rapes, but the bigger reason is the social attitude. Women are seen as objects of consumption that are available to be used and silenced if they protest. This situation is convenient for the people here and that is why they won’t let it change.” A very disturbing observation, but one that rings true.

Khap panchayats have recently pressed on lowering the age limit of marriage to 16 years. Their argument is that early marriage will help young people fulfill their sexual desires and hence, rapes will not happen. A view that has shockingly found an echo in the words of former chief minister and INLD leader, Om Prakash Chautala, who compared 21st century India to the medieval age of Mughal rulers. “Even during the Mughal era, girls were married off at a very young age to protect them from rapes,” said Chautala.

Rapes have almost doubled in Haryana in the past seven years. From 386 cases in 2004, it has jumped to 733 in 2011

Suneeta Tyagi, who runs Samta Moolak Mahila Sangthan, an NGO in Gohana, says raping women is a way of life in Haryana. “Although Gohana (the town where 19-year-old Puneeta was raped for five days) is a small town of Sonipat district, rapes are very common here,” she says. “Last year in May, a first year law student was gangraped near her college campus, the Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidyala of Khanpur Kalan. The main reason behind such incidents is the callous attitude that men have towards women. People rape women fearlessly while the police is completely absent from the scene.”

Tyagi adds that much of it has to do with the political pressure that police undergo and the compulsions of serving in a patriarchal society. “The administration and police keep mum because they are always under political pressure. Everybody in Gohana is politically connected with some big-shot politician. Support from the khaps further boosts their morale. Everybody believes here that they can easily get away after raping a woman. In most cases, the accused forces the victim to compromise and keep her mouth shut,” adds Tyagi.

Although Gohana DSP Yashpal Khatana rubbishes all these charges, what he offers as an explanation for the frequency of rapes is deeply disturbing. “Girls are easily influenced these days,” says the DSP. “They wear western clothes, so the number of gangrapes is increasing here.” The chowmein argument somehow begins to make sense now. After all, this is one of the keepers of law talking.

Latest figures released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) confirm Haryana’s notoriety in crimes against women. In the past seven years, the number of rape cases in Haryana has almost doubled. From 386 rape cases in 2004, it jumped to 733 cases in 2011, with only 13 percent convictions. This lack of fear among perpetrators has combined with the fear among victims to create Haryana’s spiralling rape epidemic.

Besides, there’s always the inaction of the state police and their subservience to panchayats. “It saves them the pain of doing an investigation and our village also does not get a bad name,” says Daljit Singh, Sarpanch of Dhani Pirawala village near Hisar, where a 14-year-old was raped in February this year. “Whoever is guilty will be punished, but if the boy is not guilty and the girl is known to sleep around with many men, then we do not encourage a police investigation.”

Local police officials’ attitude towards victims does not help matters either. In the Bhuna Police Station of Fatehabad district, Sub-Inspector Praveen Singh sits in a spotless white kurta pyjama. Looking more like a panchayat leader than a policeman, Singh’s attitude reflects the same apathy seen in Gohana DSP Yashpal Khatana. “How can you rape a woman forcibly when she doesn’t want it?” asks Singh. “Most cases we get here are motivated. Recently, a woman came and complained that her husband’s brother had raped her. I wonder what her husband was doing when she was being raped? When we went to investigate, all three of them had jumped into the canal and committed suicide. Now, how are we to take such cases seriously?”

Wise old men? Panchayat members in Durjanpur village of Jind district

The Bhuna Police Station has a particularly inglorious past. In 1999, long before Praveen had joined the force, in Khajuri village, Atma Ram, a landlord, along with his sons and drivers, brutally raped a woman for more than five months and kept her as a bonded labourer. This case attracted nationwide attention and former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala had even called for imposition of President’s rule in the state. The police was forced to file an FIR almost three weeks after the incident came to light, but later dismissed the case saying it was motivated, that the Dalit woman had tried to frame the landlord because she was not given her share of the harvest for working on Atma Ram’s fields.

When TEHELKA visited Khajuri and tried to trace the victim Lalo Bai and her father, it was revealed that while she had died in 2000, her father had been driven out of the village. Atma Ram turned out to be the richest man in the village with a mansion and farmhouses in various locations. In Khajuri, as across Haryana’s villages, approaching the police against the mighty and the powerful seems a deadly option. It’s much better to simply suffer in horrific silence.

MANY BELIEVE that a regressive mindset, coupled with police indifference and panchayat interference, has ensured that deterrence against rape will not work in Haryana. “Police always lodges the FIR. After that, when we arrest the perpetrators, the panchayat intervenes and presses for an out-of-court settlement,” says Saurabh Singh, SP, Jind. “If the case somehow reaches the courts, then witnesses from the village turn hostile. In some cases, witnesses whose statements were recorded before the magistrate do not even turn up for the first hearing under pressure from the panchayats,” he adds.

In the much-publicised 9 September Dabra rape case, (Dalit girl. Gangraped. Filmed. by Soumik Mukherjee, 6 October), where a 16-year-old Dalit girl was gangraped by a dozen upper caste Jat men, one of the accused, Sunil alias Gharsi, had the complete backing of the village panchayat. The panchayat leaders are believed to have even met the IGP AS Chawla to get an assurance that “their boy” would not be prosecuted. On being refused, a crowd blocked the Funwara Chowk in Hisar. Later, when Sunil was paraded before the girl in the Test Identification Parade (TIP), she even refused to identify him.

In every panchayat one hears an axiom narrated with pride by the landlords: “If a Jat has not had sex with his siri’s (farm labour’s) wife and daughter, then he is not worthy of calling himself a Jat.” A very telling commentary on the prevailing mindset in the state.

Adds Anju, who works with the AIDWA in Rohtak: “A 15-year-old girl was gangraped in a nearby kacchi gadhi locality of Rohtak. Her family was involved in the crime. The situation is so bad that no woman can think of venturing out in the city after 6 pm. Men know that women cannot refuse, cannot defy. A woman has no other option but to accept whatever is done to her. Men here know that the cops and politicians are with them, so they just rape women. Use them and then throw them away. The whole socio-political framework encourages crime against women, protects criminals and burdens the victim with the responsibility of the violence done to her. Although this happens to Dalit women more, no one is really safe here.”

Seems like, in Haryana, to be a woman is to be the worst kind of Dalit — the kind that was born to be raped.

Sai Manish is a Senior Correspondent with Tehelka.
sai.manish@tehelka.com

priyanka@tehelka.com

*Names of all rape victims have been changed to protect their identities

 

#Haryana: Minor Girl Raped, Mentally Disabled Assaulted #vaw #shame


 

OCT 03, 2012http://news.outlookindia.com

Adding to the spree of crimes against women in Haryana, a minor Dalit girl was allegedly kidnapped and raped in Rohtak, while a mentally challenged woman was sexually assaulted in Jind district.

Main accused in both the cases have been arrested.

A 15-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly lured by three women relatives in Kachchi Garhi Mohalla colony of Rohtak and then raped by a youth last evening, police said.

The girl was called out of her house by the accused women and was taken to an abandoned house in a car on the Hisar road on the outskirts of the village where she was raped.

Police have registered a case against five persons, including the three relatives of the victim and also arrested the key accused.

The latest incident occurred in Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda‘s home district Rohtak, where opposition BJP-Haryana Janhit Congress women leaders took out a rally and raised slogans against the Hooda regime for allegedly failing to protect the women of the state.

Yesterday, a mentally challenged woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by a man in Narwana area Jind.

Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today condemned the incidents and said “any culprit, whosoever was involved in such heinous crimes would not be spared at any cost.”

Hooda, who was speaking after presiding over the first meeting of State Police Board here today, said that not only the perception of the police should be good, but it should also be visible and easily accessible.

The chief minister said he had reviewed the working of the police organisation and also various steps taken by it to maintain law and order in the state.

“Detailed deliberations were also held regarding the strengthening and modernisation of the police force,” he said.

Haryana DGP, Ranjiv Singh Dalal said there should be a strength of 82,000 police personnel, but as against it there were only 56,000 at present.

The government has sanctioned to recruit 11,000 police personnel for which the process would soon commence, he said.

Dalal said it was necessary to further improve force multiplying efficiency, for which latest Close Circuit TV cameras were required in towns.

“For this Rs 200 crore have been sought to implement this five-year plan to install cameras as these would further improve efficiency of police and provide vital information as proof in case of any incident,” he said.

Dalal while referring to the recent rape incidents in the state, claimed that a team of National Commission for Women “has expressed satisfaction over the prompt action taken by the Haryana Police.”

He stressed the “need for parents to keep an eye on the activities of their children”.

The DGP said that parents “usually do not give proper attention to the boys and remain unaware of their activities. There had been cases where the young boys consumed liquor in the day and were involved in violent activities. The parents need to take strict note of the daily activities of their children,” he added.

In another incident, a spokesman of Jind district police today said they have arrested four youths, including Amarjeet alias Jeeta, while they were planning to carry out a loot.

Jeeta, during his interrogation, revealed that he was involved in a gangrape of a woman in Jind on August 18. Police had earlier registered a case against the accused in this incident, but the accused were absconding.

Earlier, a rape incident took place in Hisar on September 9, where a Dalit teenage girl was gangraped in Dabra village.

After the Dabra gangrape incident, a married woman was gangraped in a Jind village, a teenage girl was gangraped by some youths in Gohana in Sonepat district while another teenage girl was raped in a moving jeep in Bhiwani distric

 

Change the terminology- Survivors, not victims #VAW # Justice #mustread


 

This we know: On September 9, a 16-year-old Dalit schoolgirl in Dabra village, Hisar was kidnapped, raped and photographed allegedly by a group of upper caste Jat boys. This we know: The girl complains to her father. The photographs are circulated in the village. The father tries to  lodge a complaint, fails, and kills himself nine days after his daughter was raped.

This we know: It takes media outrage, street processions and the threat of job suspensions by the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes before the Haryana police arrest nine of the 12 accused (one is the nephew of the INLD district chief and three are said to have links to the Congress). But even before interrogation can begin, comes news of a copycat rape: another Dalit woman, also gangraped, also filmed, also in Haryana, only this time in Jind district.

The silence in Hisar has an echo in Jind. At the time of writing, the National Commission for Women is yet to rouse itself. Leave alone a visit to Hisar, it has not even bothered with a statement laced with the mandatory clichés of outrage, shock etc.

But more than predictable statements, perhaps the time has come to change the rhetoric of rape. Rape, like murder, is a terrible, heinous crime. But that is just what it is, a crime. Take away the attendant accessories of ‘honour’, ‘humiliation’ and ‘fate worse than death’ and you take away the sting; the motivation behind the continuing rape of vulnerable women.

When Dalit women are targeted for rape by upper caste men, the message is clear: Terrorise an entire community. When the rape of a woman is tied in with a man’s honour (because she is his property), then the motive is not sexual desire — in rape it almost never is — but a desire to subdue those who you believe are beneath you. “There is a lot of tension in villages where Dalits are moving ahead in terms of education and employment,” says Asha Kowtal of the All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch. “You have to see the rape of this girl in the context of caste tensions in the state.”

In a culture where a woman’s honour is tied to notions of her sexual ‘purity’, rape as a weapon will continue to be used to punish her or her brothers, her father, her husband, her community. It is this culture that leads to women agreeing to marrying their rapists or committing suicide after being cast out by their families. It is this culture that led the father of the 16-year-old in Hisar to kill himself. It is this culture that leads young men with a sense of entitlement to believe they can rape and they can photograph but they will not be caught because the women they rape will be too ‘ashamed’ to complain.
These are attitudes that find resonance in the police. A sting operation by Tehelka earlier this year interviewed one officer who said no self-respecting woman would report a rape out of a sense of shame. Those who did were extortionists, he said.

The media’s subtext in reporting sexual assault is not above reproach. Even the most well-intentioned reports swing between voyeurism and syrupy sentimentality. There is an inordinate focus on urban rapes, while those in the hinterland get a cursory paragraph — if at all. Guidelines that rape survivors should not be named subscribe to the notion of stigma. A woman raped is a woman shamed, hence her identity must be protected. Photographs of course are out of the question. But accompanying visuals of helpless women huddled in fear perpetuate the stereotype of how we as a society believe survivors of rape should behave. Even the nomenclature is misplaced: a person who is raped is not a victim. She is a survivor.

Women who have been raped want justice more than sympathy. They want their rapists to be shamed, not have to bear the burden of stigma on themselves. They want rape to be treated as it is: an awful crime. A crime minus the added sting of honour.

- Namita Bhandare is a Delhi-based writer. The views expressed by the author are personal.

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India- Dalit woman gang-raped at gunpoint, then filmed #VAW


 

TNN and NDTV  | Sep 27, 2012,

PILLU KHERA (JIND): Haryana is rapidly climbing up the gender crime graph in India. A week after the rape of a dalit schoolgirl rocked Hisar, another case of gangrape came to light on Wednesday – a  30 yeard old Dalit woman and mother  of sic year old girl  has been gang-raped in her home at gunpoint. The attack in the Jind district was also filmed on a phone camera and the MMS was circulated in her village.

The police said that two of the three alleged rapists have been arrested.. In the earlier case of gangrape of a 16-year-old girl in Hisar’s Dabra village, after which the victim’s father committed suicide, the main accused are yet to be nabbed. The Jind rape caught media attention on Wednesday after a few villagers protested against police inaction and approached the SSP.

According to police, the woman in Jind, originally a resident of Dharoli village, was gang-raped around noon when she was alone at her house. Her daughter returned from school and found the house bolted from inside and heard her mother cry. She peeped inside and saw her mother surrounded by the three men. Neighbours were alerted when the girl started screaming for help but the assailants escaped. The neighbours simply went back and didn’t call the cops.

Pillu Khera police said the victim came to the station that evening accompanied by her husband, a mason and gave a statement, naming two of the three youths as sons of Azad Singh, an upper caste man, and Mahavir Singh, a dalit from Dharoli. Head constable Mahender Singh said a case was registered under Section 376 (rape) of IPC and a manhunt has been launched.

Jind SSP Saurabh Singh said one of the accused Suraj Kumar, son of Mahavir Singh and Sandeep’s father Azad Singh were arrested on Wednesday. Azad has been accused of sheltering his son, who is absconding.

Regarding the MMS clip made by the accused, the SSP said, “As of now, the police do not have any material evidence. Still, we are invest-igating and if we get any proof, we will slap charges.” He said the victim’s family has also sought police protection on Wednesday.

Seven more arrested for Hisar gangrape

Meanwhile, Haryana police on Wednesday arrested seven people in connection with a 16-year-old dalit girl’s gangrape in Hisar district‘s Dabra village on September 9. But the main accused, Mahender, who is said to wield political clout in the region, remains on the run.

Police said the seven were arrested from Almora of Uttarakhand. “Nine accused in the case have been arrested now. Two of them were nabbed two days back. Rest of the accused will be arrested soon,” said DGP Ranjiv Singh Dalal. He said that the Hisar superintendent of police had been directed to approach the district and sessions judge with a request to set up a fast track court to hear the case.