old victim of police rape and torture demands justice
National Human Rights Commission vide its case number 99/19/2001-2002
dated 28.5.01has issued notice to Director General of Police Punjab, to
look into the communication by INSAAF International. The DGP is required
to send his report within two weeks of receipt of this notice of NHRC.
Further directions are given to furnish report by the authority, which
is called upon to do so. In case of default the commission may proceed
to take action, as it deems proper.
INSAAF had sent photocopies of the newspaper cuttings of an English daily
to the National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Women,
Chief Justice Supreme Court, Chief Justice Punjab and Haryana High Court,
Home Minister of India and various National and International human rights
bodies about the role of Punjab police and Chairperson, Punjab State Commission
for Women, Ms. Surinder Kaur Grewal in case of torture of a rape victim
by Patiala Police.
According to media reports a 14 years old girl alleging abduction and
rape for six days was tortured by Patiala police by giving her electric
shocks behind her ears. The victim and her family ran from pillar to post,
met police officials and Chairperson Punjab State Commission for Women
to get justice. Unable to get any justice from them the victim tried to
meet the Chief Minister, S. Parkash Singh Badal at Sangat Darshan held
at Samana on 30.4.01. She was prevented from meeting Chief Minister by
the Chairperson and police officials present at the venue of Sangat Darshan
of Chief Minister.
The victim was escorted back to her residence in a police gypsy. Chairperson
confirmed that the minor victim had clear torture marks behind her ears.
It was shocking that she found it sufficient to 'reprimand' the police
officials for this barbaric act. Strangely enough chairperson gave 'not
to sensationalize the matter' and 'good intentions' of the police officials
at the helm in the district as reasons for restraining the victim from
meeting the Chief Minister. This episode puts a question mark on the credibility
of statutory commissions and how and who are entrusted with protection
of human rights by the government. It also exposes the political drama
of Sangat Darshan by the Chief Minister. The courtiers properly screen
the people before allowing them to meet the chief minister for this publicity
INSAAF demanded immediate registration of criminal cases against guilty
According to reports, later on after the media coverage the victim's family
was pressurized y the authorities to change their statements given to
the press previously.
-- Dr. Vineeta Gupta,
General Secretary, Bhatinda 13.6.01