Tuesday, December 21, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Dalit girls’ death: It was murder, not suicide, say panels in chorus


Dalit girls' death: It was murder, not suicide, say panels in chorus

Express News Service Posted online: Wed Dec 22 2010, 01:57 hrs

lucknow : The teams of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes
and the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, which visited
Moradabad on Tuesday to inquire into the deaths of two Dalit sisters
on Saturday, said the girls were killed, and blamed the local
officials for the tragedy.

Both the teams rejected the district administration's claim that the
girls had committed suicide, unable to bear the taunts of neighbours
after their brothers were booked in a case of double murder.

The NCSC team was led by member Raju Parmar while Swaraj Jeevan headed
the NCSK team.

NCSC chairman PL Punia told The Indian Express, "The officials of the
district administration and the police are responsible for the death
of the Dalit sisters. Our team has conducted an inquiry and the
commission would get a case under the SC/ST Atrocity Act registered
against erring officials according to the findings. The girls were
killed and it was not a case of suicide."

Jeevan said, "We conducted an inquiry and found that the mother of the
victims had been requesting senior officials of the police and the
administration for security since December 9. She feared attack on her
and her daughters, but the officials hurled abuses at her and shooed
her away from their offices."

He further said, "It is a case of murder and I am recommending action
against the District Magistrate and the DIG of Moradabad, holding them
responsible for the killing of two Dalit girls and getting a false
case of robbery and murder fabricated against the Dalit girls'
brothers Rakesh and Rajesh."

Both the teams visited the house in Kothiwal Nagar where the charred
bodies of Geeta and Neetu alias Monu were found and recorded the
statement of their mother who was present in the house at the time of
the incident. The teams also spoke to their neighbours.

Later, the teams met the doctors who conducted the postmortem
examination of the two girls, and the forensic experts who had
examined the room. They also recorded the statements of the local SHO,
the Circle Officer, the SP (City), and the City Magistrate who had
visited the spot on December 18.

Parmar and Jeevan met the DIG and the DM and inquired about the steps
they had taken in the matter.

Moradabad DIG Ashok Kumar said he gave all details to the members of
both the commissions and replied to their queries. "The investigation
would find out if the mother's allegation that Geeta and Neetu were
set ablaze by a mob is true," the DIG said. He said the police had
already registered a case under various sections of IPC and the SC/ST
Act and an Assistant SP was conducting the investigation.

Rajjo Devi had alleged in her complaint that a mob entered her house
and set her daughters ablaze after outraging their modesty.

Her sons, Rajesh and Rakesh, were arrested after Pankaj Gagneja, who
lives in the same locality, had lodged a complaint, naming them for
the murder of his wife Pooja and daughter Sania, and robbery at his
house on December 9.

While Rajesh was arrested the next day, Rakesh is on the run.


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