This is a piece of news that did not get the much-deserved media attention. Recently, group of women from five Chhattisgarh villages, accused police personnel for raping and assaulting 40 of them, two of them being gang raped. One of these victims was a 14-year-old girl who was blindfolded and gang raped.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) claims to have taken a suo-moto cognizance of the case based on a news report. IT also stated that it sent an investigative team to the area.
To this, NHRC called a press conference and made the announcement that there was evidence that 16 women were raped by the policemen. They also confirmed that the Chhattisgarh State government was vicariously liable for the gross violation of human rights.
NHRC has now issued a show cause notice against Chhattisgarh Police and has also demanded a compensation of Rs. 37 Lack for the victims.
The question remains why has mainstream media and governance failed to take this issue into notice. Are Advivasi women not women? Why have Non-Governmental Organizations failed to stand up for the victims? And more so, is rape and sexual assault a kind of matter that can be disposed of by financial compensation?
The biggest flaw remains this- Chhattisgarh police has been given the authority to investigate the matter, while itself being the accused! The criminals have been asked to investigate their own case.
Let us hope that the thought of appointing an independent investigative authority strikes the state, and the victims get more than just financial relief.