Police, district admn slammed in Banda rape report to HC

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 00:19

Allahabad: In a damning report to the
Allahabad High Court, rights group People`s Union for Civil
Liberties (PUCL) has come down heavily on the police and
district administration of Banda where a girl was allegedly
raped by a ruling BSP MLA and later implicated in a false
theft case.

The girl was "subjected to barbaric physical and
sexual assault", the PUCL has observed in its report submitted
today before the court, which had authorised the rights group
to send a delegation to Banda, 219 kms from state capital
Lucknow, and record its findings.

The police tried to sweep the matter under the carpet
"under pressure from the MLA and as per the orders of the
district police chief" by arresting the girl on theft charges
and sending her to jail.

A specially-constituted bench comprising Justice
Imtiyaz Murtaza and Justice Sudhir Agrawal had on January 18
last taken suo motu cognisance of the entire episode and
authorised the PUCL to "assist the court" by sending its
two-member team to Banda and submit a report on its findings
thereafter.

The eight-page report, which has recommended "transfer
of the trial from the Sessions Court at Banda to a competent
court in Allahabad", has made a scathing attack on the then
Superintendent of Police of Banda, charging him with having
"illegally entered the jail", while the rape victim was
incarcerated. It said he "tried to put pressure on the girl to
retract her allegations of rape by offering her money and
issuing threats".

The report has claimed that the SP had visited the
jail without obtaining due permission from the Sessions Court
and stayed inside the premises well past 6:45 PM which was "in
violation of the jail manual".

On Janury 13, BSP MLA Purshottam Dwivedi was arrested
in Banda a month after he allegedly raped the 17-year-old
dalit girl. The 48-year-old MLA, who was suspended by the BSP,
and three other co-accused were chargesheeted in the case.

The report has said, "the District Magistrate too
failed to exercise the powers vested in him with regard to the
unauthorised jail visit of the SP and a perusal of the entire
episode leads to the conclusion that he had, throughout, tried
to save the accused MLA".

The report, which has been prepared jointly by PUCL
organising secretary Vandana Mishra and High Court advocate
Deeba Siddiqui has recommended "strong disciplinary action
against the SP and the DM" besides "punishment to all the
police officials who had, instead of carrying out their
duties, tried to protect the accused".

Further, the report has called for "adequate security"
to the victim and her family members.

Meanwhile, the High Court has fixed February 18 as the
next date of hearing in the matter and directed the government
counsel to apprise the court of the orders passed so far by
the Supreme Court, which has taken cognisance of the matter.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 00:19

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