Courtesy: A S Vasantha Kumari
We are attaching a short press statement that describes what happened in Nendra, Basaguda thana, Bijapur between the 11th and 14th of January.Since the 18th of January, 16 people from the village, including 8 rape survivors have been in Bijapur, negotiating with authorities to file an FIR about the violence they have faced.
Despite testimonies recorded by the police and the SDM, there is a complete refusal to lodge an FIR.
Under Section 154 this is a clear violation of the law. First, the TI Basaguda, TI Kotwali and DSP Bairamgarh refused to lodge it. When we cited the law and explained that they were legally bound to lodge it they said they cannot
and will have to check with the SP (Even though an FIR should happen at the thana level). The collector then promised that we should trust him, and that he would get an FIR lodged by the 20th morning once the SP is back in town. However, this has still not been done.
We then spoke to the SP who is refusing to direct the thana to lodge an FIR instead saying that he will come and then speak with us and that he has spoken to higher officials.
Given the detailed testimonies of women, the law that states that lodging an FIR is mandatory, how is it that the authorities can continue to refuse to file an FIR. We need to put immediate pressure on the authorities to atleast follow the law. Please do call the SP and collector in large numbers and press upon them. Here are their numbers-
1. K.L. Dhruv, SP Bijapur – 9479194400
2. Yashwant Kumar, Collector Bijapur – 7389902999
3. I. Kalyan Elesela, ASP Naxal Operations, Bijapur – 9479194401
Please circulate this email as widely as possible. We need as much pressure to be created as possible. Signal is difficult here, but please keep trying.
On behalf of the team in Bijapur,
January 21, 2016 morning 9 a.m.
Rape, loot and plunder seem to define the grammar of combing operations carried out by security forces in South Chhattisgarh. In a chillingly similar repeat of what we saw in Peddagellur some months ago and in Sukma as recently as last week where seven women were brutally sexually assaulted, the people of Nendra village, Veerapur Panchayat, Basaguda thana were subjected to this cruel form of violence between the 11th and 14th of January, 2016. Several cases of rape, sexual assault, the loot of poultry and rations causing extensive loss, beating and constant verbal abuse were reported by people of the village.
Sixteen villagers including 8 rape survivors traveled to the district headquarters to lodge their complaint and file an FIR with the Collector and the Superintendent of Police on the 18th of January. It is now the third day since they have been here, giving testimony after testimony to the administration and negotiating with the Kotwali police that refuses to lodge an FIR in the absence of the SP.
Section 154 of the CrPC makes it mandatory for a police officer to file an FIR on receipt of any information of a cognizable offense such as rape, molestation, or disrobing. Further, no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a case. By refusing to file an FIR, any public servant, is himself culpable under the IPC.
The team met with the Collector, who ordered testimonies to be noted and asked the villagers and human rights activists to trust him, saying that he would make sure that an FIR would be filed as soon as the SP returned from the field, and that latest by the morning of 20th of January, the women would be able to return to their village, having filed and FIR. Similarly, the TI Bijapur Kotwali and DSP also maintained that after the SP returned, it would be done.
Accordingly, detailed statements of the affected women were recorded by the police on the first day, and then again with the SDM. The statements clearly describe rape, sexual assault and looting. Despite this, the police have not lodged an FIR against their own functionaries who ha