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SMALL VILLAGE SHAHBAZPUR CAME INTO NATIONAL HEADLINES
Nidhi | 31 Jan 2011

This article is about banda village where a girl sheelu raped by MLA of area. And how the whole scenario is become the 'political scandal'.

WE ALL know India is country of the villages or in these villages so many offensive things happened per day and nobody noticed them. Now the shahbazpur found itself in the media glare.
 
Shahbazpur the non-descript village in Uttar Pradesh (UP), which suddenly made its way to national headlines after Sheelu Nishad, a teenager from the village, alleged rape by the Bhujan Samaj Party(BSP) MLA of the area.
 
Sheelu, who worked as a domestic helper in the politician’s house for two days- could press charges against him, he got her arrested for stealing money and a mobile phone from his house. While in jail, Sheelu told the authorities that she had been raped by the MLA and his wife helped her escape in the night. A month later, sheelu was released on Jan 15, Ever since she has been ‘Under Protection’, her case is ‘in progress’.
 
It was 7pm, when media entered into the village , Banda is a village where 7pm is too late to talk .Nobody want to give statement because they don’t want to step in, on a politicized rape case of a backward caste girl.
 
Finally the silence is broken by sub-inspector Urmila Gupta, one of the six female police persons “Kya keh sakte hain ki kya hua (What can we say about what happened)”, she says before getting up to follow Sheelu, who has to attend nature’s call in the field.” Can’t even let her shit alone, you know”. There’s need for caution. Anything could happen to a 17 –year-old who has taken on a powerful politician.
 
For a district with a population of a little over a lakh, Banda has been too many mediapersons and politicians coming in. But its residents would play it safe. “ Look these things happen only in the rural areas. Its just a political scandal” says a local hotel owners. A “political scandal” in Banda means everyone is talking but on one wants to be heard.
 
But Banda is not new to rape, says Tripathi, the local scribe, as he rates off figures of rapes that have happened in the last five years in Banda. “ Yahan toh roti ke liye rape hota h ( Here rape happens for food)
Most cases are never reported , in the name of ‘honour’ and fear of retribution by the uppert castes and political goons. “ Ye sab policybaazi hai, ( This is all politics),” says Sampat Pal, leader of the Gulabi gang , a local vigilante justice group. Pal says that the case is being endlessly politicized and the “janta” is being fooled into believing that ‘justice’ is within reach.
 
Politicians hostile people and abuse sheelu.Sheelu’s “fight” had started about a year ago: fed up with abuse from her father, she had left the house to stay with her aunt. Banda is trying hard to get used to Sheelu. And comparisons with Phoolan Devi or as counter to Myawati are already being drawn by the media. Only , Sheelu is unfazed. “ Look , I am neither Phoolan nor Mayawati. Wait for the time, and everyone will know what I am”.
 
Sheelu is not a only girl who suffer from this, there are so many girls like her who  suffers a lot. Rape is not new to Banda. But this time the leading political parties have made it a cause. Power is weapon which gives right to the politician to use the system according to them. There are so many villages where these kind of offences takes place everyday and nobody register FIR in the police station because of the fear of big political parties.