TN: ‘Tribal women rape by cops didn't take place’

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Monday told the Madras High Court that the report of the investigating officer into the alleged rape of four tribal women in November last by some state policemen indicated that the incident "had not taken place".

In an affidavit on behalf of the state government, the Principal Home Secretary Dr R Ramakrishnan submitted, "from the report of the investigating officer it appears that the offence of rape is not made out".

However, the enquiry by the judicial magistrate is going on and the findings are awaited, he said.

Stating that the alleged victims were medically examined at the Government Medical College Hospital, Mundiyambakkam, on November 29, the counter said the doctor, who examined the women, in a report had said there was no medico-legal evidence to suggest that the victims had sexual intercourse recently.

The government, the counter said, had paid Rs five lakh as compensation to each of the four women on "compassionate grounds".

In all five police personnel, including the Inspector, Thirukoilur police station, had been placed under suspension.

The Home Secretary said the government would conclude its views once the findings of the judicial enquiry were available.

However, the government admitted that the women and children had been taken into custody by the police personnel in an "unwarranted manner". The government will not shield the guilty, the affidavit said.

The four women belonging to the Irular community and some children were taken by the police at about 8 pm on the night of November 22 in a police van from their residence in T Mandappam, located in the jurisdiction of Thirukkovilur police station to a nearby eucalyptus grove.

The were then taken to a place called Sandhapettai and brought back to the grove where the woman were allegedly raped by three policemen around midnight and later brought back home.

In a separate affidavit, the Director General of Police, K Ramanujam also claimed that the offence of rape "is not made out".

He pointed out that the Assistant Professor, Department of Forensic Medicine of Government Villupuram Medical College, had opined that "there is no medical evidence to suggest that the victims had recent sexual intercourse".

The Director and Professor of Institute of Forensic Medicine of Madras Medical College had said that after a perusal and careful analysis of the documents, he was of the opinion that there are "no evidence suggestive of forceful physical restraint on the body of all the four alleged victims".

However, the police team had faulted by taking the women and children into custody when they were actually not wanted in any criminal case, he said.

The affidavit stated that if the court considered it necessary to further probe the matter, the case could be transferred to the crime branch-CID.

The matter has been adjourned by three weeks for replying to the counter affidavits.