Statement of BHRPC on the Risk of Impunity in a Rape Case
June 22, 2009 by dalitmuslims
Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), a human rights organization working in Assam today wrote to the chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW) soliciting her immediate intervention in a case of gang rape committed about two and a half year earlier in the Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH), Silchar, Assam on a minor girl.
Rustana Begum, daughter of a widow named Sunapakhi Bibi belonging to the poorest stratum of the society, resident of Kanchanpur Pt-I in the district of Hailakandi, Assam, aged about 15 years at the time of the incident, was gang-raped in the SMCH at about 5 pm on 2 February 2008 by two security guards on duty. Later in the night Mr. Shushantha Nath and Mr. Surendra Singh, the two in-charges of security at the SMCH on behalf of the Barak Security Agency, a private security agency providing security to the SMCH under a contract, threatened the victim, her mother and her relative Abdul Mannan with death and other dire consequences and asked them not to disclose the incident to anybody and not to inform the police.
However, after meeting BHRPC members Sunapakkhi Bibi, the mother of the victim lodged a complaint regarding the matter with the police, which was registered as First Information Report (FIR) vide. Silchar Police Station Case No 208.08 dated 6/02/08. The BHRPC also filed a complaint with the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC), which was registered vide AHRC Case No. 6649/2008.
The AHRC issued notice asking the authorities for a report regarding the case which was complied with eventually and the Superintendent of Police (SP), Cachar submitted his ‘Enquiry Report’ to the AHRC.
The report is mysteriously silent on the claims of the BHRPC made in the complaint on the basis of its fact finding report that: (i) Mr. Atul Das, a public servant working as ‘chowkidar’ (fourth grade employee) in the SMCH abetted the offence; (ii) Mr. M K Dey, the Superintendent, SMCH, and Mr. Sushanta Nath and Mr. Surendra Singh, both were in-charges of security of the SMCH on behalf of BSA, the private security firm and facilitated the act of rape by negligence in their duty; (iii) Mr. N U Laskar, In-Cachgre (I/C) of the Ghughoor Out Post, a police out post under Silchar Police Station, Mr. Ashok Saha, Officer-in-Charge (O/C) of Silchar Police Station, Mr. Satyen Gogoi, SP, Cachar (as he was then), Mr. Gautom Ganguly, the Deputy Commissioner/District Magistrate (DC/DM), Cachar violated the consequential rights to remedies and legal and psychological assistance.
Though the SP concedes in his report that “(a) prima facie case is well established against the FRI named accd. persons” but makes utterly false claims that ‘all possible attempts have been made to effect the arrest of the FIR named accused but both the accused are found absconding to evade the police arrest. No attempts have been made to arrest the accused. The accused are not absconding. There is no effort to arrest the accused by the police.
This fact alone speaks of the negligence of the police to bring the accused to justice and ensure that the victim gets her right to justice. More over, the AHRC also has not yet recommended to the Government any interim relief even after the police admitted that a prima facie case is established.
BHRPC thinks that there is a huge risk of impunity and defeat of justice and, therefore, urged the NCW to intervene in the case and ask the Government of Assam, inter alia: (i) to entrust the investigation of the case to the CB, CID, Assam Police; (ii) to conduct the trial in a fast track court; (iii) to grant adequate compensation to the victim.
Waliullah Ahmed Laskar
Information and Liaison Officer,
Barak Human Rights Protection Committee