`Gulabi Gang` says fight not yet over

Last Updated: Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 23:53

Lucknow: Taking up the cudgels for the
minor dalit girl, allegedly raped by a BSP MLA, a group of
pink-sari clad women who have been holding demonstrations
under the banner of "Gulabi Gang" to highlight her plight say
their fight is still not over despite the legislator`s arrest.

A determined Sampat Pal (48), whose group of
lathi-wielding women is fighting against discrimination and
atrocities in the Bundelkhand region for a decade now, took up
the cause of the dalit girl after her relatives claimed that
she had been framed in a false theft case.

Sampat claimed she was offered a bribe of Rs five lakh
and promised several development works in her village by MLA
Purshottam Naresh Dwiwedi if she dropped the agitation.

"The fight is still not over... her (girl`s) family is
living in fear in their Shahzadpur village and we want to
help," he said, adding that the accomplices of the MLA were
still moving about freely.

"After we came to know that she had been framed in a
case of theft in the house which is guarded like a fortress,
we organised the first protest in Banda and later at the house
of the MLA where she was raped and beaten up," she said.

"The girl told me how the MLA told her to marry one
of his servants so that he could continue with his misdeeds
within the confines of his house," she alleged.

Alleging that the jailor of the district prison where
the victim had been lodged did not allow any of her family
members as well as her sympathisers to meet her, Sampat
alleged that "the MLA`s cronies were free to go and threaten
her anytime".

The group is now planning an agitation to press for
action against the erring police personnel.

Sampat said the group held demonstrations all over the
district to draw the attention of the media, politicians and
local people.

"The anger of the local people was against not only
Dwivedi but also the government and had the MLA not been
arrested it could have become a major problem," she said.

"We have offered to give shelter to the girl and help
her complete her education or else she could be subjected to
further exploitation," Sampat said.

It has also offered to provide security to the girl.
"If she wants, she can join the Gulabi Gang," said
Sampat.

"We will provide complete security to her," she said,
adding, "we will stage a massive agitation in case anyone
tries to harass her."

Dwivedi and his two aides have been arrested while on
of the accused is absconding.

Sampat claimed the group has over 1.4 lakh members and
has spread its activities in districts other than the
Bundelkhand region.

"We have activists in Mahoba, Orai, Fatehpur, Kanpur,
Farrukhabad, Etawah besides other districts of the state who
fight for the powerless," she said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 23:53

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