Dalit Woman’s Harassment Case Cost 3 Lives In A Year – Including Her Own (NDTV)

The woman's death has sparked a scathing attack by the Congress on the Mohan Yadav-led BJP government

Last year’s video of the woman crying over her brother’s body has now resurfaced

By India News


In a stark reminder that tall claims and taller promises during election season fly in the face of ground realities, a Dalit family’s fight for justice in a harassment case in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar has claimed three lives in less than a year — the latest of the complainant.

The woman, now 20, filed a police case in 2019 against four men, alleging that they had harassed, threatened and assaulted her. According to the FIR, the complainant, then 15, was out for ablutions when Azad Thakur, Vishal Thakur, Pushpendra Thakur and Chotu Raikwar verbally abused her. Vishal Thakur, the woman alleged, also slapped her and threatened her against going to the cops. IPC sections relating to criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt were invoked, along with provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Coming months before the 2020 Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, the case became a subject of heated political exchanges between the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress. 

Then the elections were over, and the accused’s families started pressuring the woman to withdraw her complaint. The family refused. In August last year, a mob of hundreds beat the woman’s 18-year-old brother to death. The complainant was also assaulted and her mother stripped when she tried to protect her son during the attack. Amid an outrage over the incident, nine people were charged with murder and sections of the stringent SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were also invoked. Two people were arrested and another long legal fight began. According to the FIR, the accused included Vikram Thakur, Vijay Thakur, Azad Thakur, Komal Thakur, Lalu Khan, Islam Khan, Golu Soni, Nafis Khan and Waheed Khan.  

This Saturday, the woman’s uncle, also a witness in the mob murder of her brother, received a call from one Pappu Rajak. Pappu told the woman’s uncle that the accused wanted to “settle” the matter. The woman’s uncle was asked to retract his testimony. When he refused, both he and Pappu were attacked. The woman’s uncle died during treatment, and Pappu’s condition is critical.

This story was originally published in ndtv.com. Read the full story here.

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