By NVONews.Com Special Correspondent,
Patna: Gang rapes are not uncommon. But the one which took place in Bihar’s capital, Patna, on June 14 last is something very different. Here a Class-XI student was gang-raped by seven boys, some of them her class mates. They made the CDs and uploaded it into the internet to blackmail the victim.
After remaining in market for more than a month a local TV channel got access to it. The channel passed on the CD to the police for action. The police remained silent on the plea that the victim has not filed any case. Then the women’s groups, led by activist, Kanchan Bala, took to streets.
This prompted one of the members of the Bihar State Women’s Commission, Chandramukhi Devi, to take the statement of the victim girl. In the meantime barring one local TV channel and one English newspaper no print and electronic media covered the story.
However, the activism shown by a handful of women activists and journalists forced the police to lodge an FIR, but that too after one and a half months.
After the case was filed other media houses too mustered courage and started doing stories. The police was forced to arrest five of the seven main accused.
Stories started doing the rounds that the police is not arresting the other two because they are sons of powerful people. Soon the police arrested one Dinesh, a servant of one of the accused, Sushant. The police projected him as Saurabh. But Dinesh told the court after his arrest that he is not Saurabh but Dinesh.
This further exposed the role of police. It remained a mystery as to how can it change the name of the accused. After all the girl never named any person, Dinesh, in her statement. In fact Saurabh was one of the accused named by her.
In the meantime a Janata Dal (United) MLA, Gyanendra Singh Gyanu, said to be close to the powers that be, lodged a case against a Hindi news-portal of Bihar, apnabihar.org as it reported that Saurabh is actually his son.
In the meantime Chandramukhi Devi and women organizations strongly opposed the police move to shield the real culprits. The former even went on to state that the police had changed the place of occurrence to dilute the case and are not arresting some of the accused. She said that the victim girl had clearly told her where the rape took place, but the police is repeatedly mentioning some other place. On the other hand Kanchan Bala, while talking to NVO correspondent, alleged that the police is not allowing any woman group or activist and woman journalists to meet the victim girl or her family members.
But this is not the only gang rape case to be reported in Bihar in the recent days. On July 30 two school girls of Silao block of Nalanda, the home district of the chief inister, Nitish Kumar, alleged that they were raped by some youths. Some newspapers reported the incident. The very next day the girls changed their version and said that no such incident took place.
Women groups alleged that victims come under pressure and are forced to change their version.
Violence against women has witnessed sharp rise in Bihar in the recent months. Fed up with sexual harassment a school principal, Rupam Pathak, on Jan 4, 2011 stabbed to death the MLA of the ruling BJP, Raj Kishore Kesri, at his home in Purnea in east Bihar. Rupam is still in jail though women right groups strongly protested against the police. They said that Rupam was forced to take the step because her repeated plea was not heard by anyone in the state.