The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) is deeply concerned with West Bengal Police mishandling of the double gangrape of a very young girl in Kolkata. CHRI said in a statement, ''The police appeared to have done nothing to protect the young woman and her family after her initial complaint after falling victim to heinous kind of gangrape.''
Despite her and family’s complaints of threats and intimidation, there have been reports of harassment and pressure by the police even after her death. The police appeared to have heartlessly pressurized the family to dispose her body to save themselves from dealing with public anger and protest.
Reports throw up the following questions for the police establishment to answer:
1. Why did it take an entire night before mother and victim could file an FIR?
2. Was the child assisted to have a medical examination?
3. What protection was she afforded as a prime witness and victim if she could so easily be abducted and raped again?
4. Why was there a delay in putting forth the girls dying declaration which clearly seems to indicate murder and not suicide?
5. What is the significance of the father’s accusation that the police were pressuring him to hand over the death certificate in order to quickly cremate the child in the dead of the night?
6. Will the police administration now assure the family’s safety so that all culprits and those who abetted them after the crime will be properly punished to the fullest extent of the law?
All circumstances taken together indicate at worst complicity or at very least negligence of duty of the police to protect and properly investigate heinous crime. The police leadership must hold its rank into account to make the fullest public investigation into these failures. The government of West Bengal has a primary duty to ensure the safety and security of the people and hold the police accountable.
Speaking on the subject, Mrs Maja Daruwala, Director of the CHRI said “in the absence of short term measures to bring erring police personnel to book and resistance to putting in long term measures as required by 2006 Supreme Court directive on police reforms, such violent incidents and their mishandling by the police would continue.”