On September 14 th , 2020 a 19-year-old Dalit woman was raped by 4 upper caste Thakur men. She was left with an injured spinal cord. The men strangulated her while she was resisting the rape. The four men also cut her tongue off. On hearing her cries, her mother came rushing. At first, the girl was taken to Chand Pa police station, where the police rejected all their claims and severely humiliated the family. The police registered the complaint on September 20 th , 6 days after the atrocious and unspeakable incident took place. Pursuant to sub-section (1) of section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a police officer is to register a FIR in the case of cognizable offences. But did this happen? No, it did not. The family was humiliatedand was made to leave, a testament to the inefficient law enforcement system in India. Also, the nature of a FIR is one where, especially in the case of cognizable offences, must be registered or recorded at the earliest.
What made matters worse was when the Uttar Pradesh police, after the girl died, cremated her body at 2:30 a.m. on September 29 th without the prior knowledge orconsent of her family. This dominance of the Upper Caste across the social spectrum is immoral, unfair and unjust. For as long as we can remember, caste-based discrimination and violence have been prevailing, and with incidents such as the recent one that unfolded in Hathras, it sees no end. Even several Administrative and Governmental structures fail to tackle this problem of caste-based discrimination or violence. Some even deny its prevalence or existence. After the rape, Uttar Pradesh’s government under Yogi Adityanath alleged that an international conspiracy was being hatched to destabilise the UP government’s tough posture against the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests. This was the Chief Minister’s first response to an extremely tragic event that took place. It really puts into perspective as to how narrow minded the Uttar Pradesh government is. These actions also shed light on how the government of the state has chosen to disregard some very dire problems that the Indian Republic suffers from, namely, the oppression and violence women suffer from, as well as caste-based discrimination or violence.
The State Government, after the girl’s death, hired the services of a PR firm pressing that there was no rape. Several other administrative and law enforcement bodies or structures in Uttar Pradesh deemed that there was no rape too. They called it, “fake news”. A tactic that seems to hold good a lot of the time where there is a need for accountability or action on their behalf. Additional Director General Prashant Kumar, stated that the woman's family had not mentioned rape in the initial complaint, and cited a forensic report which said that no semen was found in her viscera sample – a claim rebutted by experts who point out that an absence of semen in this sample does not rule out rape. Doctors at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital (JNMCH) in Aligarh, where the girl was treated for almost two weeks, pointed out that the forensic report was based on samples taken 11 days after the attack. Protocol says that any evidence gathered beyond four days after a rape is useless. Thus, this clearly highlights the inefficiency on behalf of the concerned authorities and speaks to the common disregard of a human life, especially that of a Dalit girl. Not to draw comparisons but, it was a more comprehensive evidence collection andinvestigation process when it came to Sushant Singh Rajput, as compared to a 19-year-old girl in the Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh.
These are the bleak state of affairs in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Casteism and the immense disrespect for women prevails. As a responsible citizen of this country, stand up for what is right. Speak up against oppression and speak for liberation. The disgusting acts against women in our country need to see an end at the earliest. And this is done by the imposition of our will, the will of the people. Strive for the actual abolishment of the caste system, a system responsible for nearly 3000 years of institutionalised discrimination and oppression.
Outlaw the already outlawed system.
This article is written by Ryan Pillai from Fueled By Opinion.
Fueled By Opinion is a homegrown online magazine started by two high school students from Bangalore, India. They want to provide the youth with an unbiased platform for their voice.
Their magazine is an archive of articles by writers who hold diverse beliefs and have varying political leanings. They provide people with an unbiased platform to express their opinion on things that affect them, and the world we live in.
Our aim is to create a virtual safe space for the youth and provide them with a means of constructive discourse.