Police, district admn slammed in Banda rape report to HC
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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 01, 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.


First Published: Tuesday, February 01, 2011, 00:19

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