The family of the 23-year-old Dalit woman, found gang-raped and murdered in Rohtak on Thursday, had around a month back complained about a man who was harassing her but the police failed to act, one of her relatives alleged today.
Drawing parallels with the brutality witnessed in the ‘Nirbhaya’ case of Delhi, the victim’s family has sought maximum punishment to the accused.
The police acknowledged that a “verbal” complaint had been made but refuted the charge of inaction saying that the victim’s family had later come to a compromise with the man and said there was no need for action.
The same man, named Sumit, has now been arrested for the crime, the sheer savagery of which emerged today in the post- mortem report which found the victim’s skull shattered, a part of the food pipe missing and suggested sharp-edged objects may have been inserted into her private parts.
“We had approached the police with a complaint of harassment by the main accused but no action was taken,” a kin of the victim kin told reporters in Sonipat.
The police however refuted the charge
“There was a verbal complaint some time back by the woman to Sonipat police saying that the main accused was pressuring her to marry him. It was a verbal complaint, there was no written complaint to police station,” Superintendent of Police, Sonipat, Ashwin Shenvi said.
“However, later, the complainant and her mother again came to the police station and said they had struck a compromise and there no need for police action,” the officer claimed.
The body was identified by the victim’s mother on the basis of her clothes.
“He (Sumit) was putting pressure on her to marry him and used to threaten her. A week ago, he stopped her when she was returning from work. When she resisted, he threatened and abused her. She slapped him and ran home,” said the mother in her statement to the police.
While Sumit (24) has a private job, the other person arrested, Vikas (28), works as a car mechanic.
“The woman was a Dalit and out of the two accused, main accused Sumit is also a Dalit,” Shenvi said.
He said as the victim belonged to Dalit community, the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act have also been invoked.
Shenvi said during investigations, involvement of only two people had come to fore and both have been arrested.
The post-mortem report also indicated a ‘Nirbhaya’ case- like savagery.
“The findings suggest that it was a brutal rape and murder,” said Dr S K Dhatterwal, head of the department of forensic medicine at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak, who conducted the post-mortem.
He said multiple head injuries, inflicted by some blunt weapon, were the main cause of the death and several bones of the victim’s skull were found to be shattered.
“There were injuries on the private parts, which means that woman was sexually assaulted,” Dhattarwal said adding that the vaginal swab had been sent to a forensic science lab for confirmation regarding rape.
The injuries suggest some sharp-edged objects may have been inserted in her private parts, he further said.
Indicating that the woman was given sedatives before she was raped and murdered, Dhattarwal said that signs of some such drugs had been found in the stomach.
Rohtak range Inspector General of Police Navdeep Virk said that the family gave the names of six more persons last evening.
“A supplementary statement of the family has been recorded. Out of these six persons, five are relatives of Sumit, main accused. The sixth may also be related in some way,” a police official said.
The opposition hit out at the BJP government in Haryana over the incident. Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda alleged a complete breakdown of law and order while demanding exemplary punishment for the culprits.
Financial assistance of Rs 10.5 lakh was announced today for the victim’s family.
As she was a Dalit, the state welfare department would provide Rs 8.5 lakh to her family under provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act while Rs 2 lakh will be given by the Red Cross, Sonipat Deputy Commissioner K Makrand Pandurang said.
National Commission for Women member Rekha Sharma met the family of the victim.
The decomposed and mutilated body of the 23-year-old woman, who went missing from Sonipat on May 9 and was gang- raped and brutally murdered, was found near the Industrial Model Township in Urban Estate, Rohtak, on May 11. Stray dogs had bitten off the face and lower portion of her body.
The sheer brutality of the crime, reminiscent of the ‘Nirbhaya’ incident in Delhi which triggered nation-wide outrage, occurred barely a month after the BJP-led Haryana government launched ‘Operation Durga’ to stop harassment of women.
Following the incident, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had expressed deep shock, saying it highlighted the need to revisit the issue of women safety.
Meanwhile, in Gurugram, also in Haryana, a 22-year-old woman from Sikkim was allegedly raped by three men in a moving car here and thrown out on a road in Delhi.