CB-CID probe ordered in Rajasthan rape victim’s self-immolation

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Jaipur, July 30 (IANS) The Rajasthan government on Tuesday ordered a CB-CID probe into a rape victim’s self immolation case at Vaishali Nagar police station here on Sunday following which she succumbed to burn injuries on Monday.

Sanjay Godara, the SHO at the police station, was also declared APO – awaiting posting orders – said Shanti Dhariwal, Parliamentary Affairs Minister.

The victim’s husband, who broke into tears while speaking to IANS, accused the police officers of abetting his wife’s suicide.

“I shall never pardon the department for insulting, torturing and harassing my wife to the limit that she had to self immolate herself right in the police station itself to protest their action,” he said, referring to the revelation of the victim’s name at a press conference called by the police.

“She regularly went to the police station to check the progress of her complaint. However, no one treated her with respect. Even after her death, she was shown no respect by the department, declaring she had consensual relations with the accused. They also revealed her identity, which is not permitted,” he said.

The husband — a retired army personnel — disconnected the phone after sobbing and cursing the police.

The rape victim lodged a complaint against her husband’s cousin on June 5. She set herself afire at the police station over police inaction in respect of her complaint.

Though the woman was rushed to hospital, she succumbed to burn injuries in the early hours of Monday.

On Monday evening, however, the police said this was a case of “a consensual affair”, and also named the woman, which was protested by different sections of people.

A bandh was observed in many parts of Jaipur on Tuesday against the police dereliction in the case.

The matter also reached the Assembly and the Opposition created a ruckus over the issue, alleging that the law and order situation was worsening under Congress rule.

When the House was adjourned from 1 p.m.-1.30 p.m., Dhariwal came out of the House and said: “We have handed over the investigation to CID-CB to find out whether it was rape or a consensual affair. We need to find out if she had consensual relations with accused Ravindra Shekhawat. The victim could have complained about physical torture meted out to her since 2015 earlier too, but she kept quiet for four years.”

He also said that the woman was involved in ongoing divorce proceedings against her husband, and although it seems to be a consensual affair, investigations would reveal the real facts.

“However, we accept that she was misbehaved with at the police station and hence we have declared the SHO APO, and have also decided to suspend him,” he said.

“We have ordered that a senior officer (at least of an Additional SP rank) should probe the issue.” the Minister added.

Meanwhile, the case has also taken a communal colour with the victim being a Rajput and the SHO being a Jat.

Dhariwal, however, refuted all such communal claims. If other policemen are found guilty, they too would be penalised, he said.

Meanwhile, BJP legislator Ashok Lahoti said: “If this is the plight of victims in the state capital, what could be the situation in the interiors?”

“I also ask police to look into the matter and then act,” he said, even as the police have been quick to declare that it was a consensual affair without undertaking a proper probe.

–IANS

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