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Madhya Pradesh: ‘Sexually harassed’ Dalit woman dies, her calls for justice go unheard | India News

She fell from an ambulance carrying her uncle’s body and died on May 26, according to the MOT. According to some reports, the depressed woman opened the door of the van when they were still 20 km away and jumped out.

In 2019, the victim filed a police report against four men, accusing her of harassing, threatening and assaulting her. (Representative image)

New DelhiJustice continues to be denied to the poor and underprivileged even as political parties indulge in rhetoric of equality and non-discrimination, especially when election fever is high.

A Dalit family has paid the price for its fight for justice, losing three members in less than a year. It all relates to a sexual harassment case in Sagar in Madhya Pradesh and the latest to die was the complainant himself, NDTV reported.

In 2019, the victim filed a police report against four men, accusing her of harassing, threatening and assaulting her. The FIR said that the complainant, who was 15 at the time, was abused by Azad Thakur, Vishal Thakur, Pushpendra Thakur and Chotu Raikwar.

The incident became a hot topic of debate among the political parties ahead of the 2020 Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh. After the elections, the suspects’ families pressured the woman and her relatives to withdraw the complaint, but they did not. In August 2023, a mob consisting of the suspects and their assistants beat the woman’s 18-year-old brother to death. The woman was also beaten and her mother stripped naked as she tried to save her son. There was outrage over the incident and nine people were charged with murder and sections of the stringent SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were also imposed. Two people were arrested. The FIR named Vikram Thakur, Vijay Thakur, Azad Thakur, Komal Thakur, Lalu Khan, Islam Khan, Golu Soni, Nafis Khan and Waheed Khan as accused.

Uncle refused to ‘solve’ the case

On Saturday, the Dalit family lost another member when the victim’s uncle, who witnessed the mob attack on the victim’s brother, received a call from one Pappu Rajak, who told him that the suspects were keen to investigate the case ‘dissolve’. He asked the woman’s uncle to retract his testimony. After rejecting it, he and Pappu were attacked by the suspect. The uncle died and Pappu was in critical condition.

Following a complaint to the police, a murder case was registered against five suspects – Aashiq Qureshi, Bablu Bena, Israel Bena, Faheem Khan and Tantu Qureshi, and one of them was arrested.

However, more despair awaited the family. The victim who filed the sexual harassment case in 2019 reportedly fell from the ambulance carrying her uncle’s body on Sunday evening. She brought the body of her uncle, who had died after being beaten, into the ambulance. She fell from an ambulance carrying her uncle’s body and died on May 26, according to the MOT. According to some reports, the depressed woman opened the door of the van when they were still 20 km away and jumped out.

After the woman’s death, the Congress targeted the Mohan Yadav-led BJP government over law and order situation in the state. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also slammed the Modi government for atrocities against women. State party leader Digvijaya Singh slammed the apathy of the police in the entire case. State Congress chief Jitu Patwari has called for a CBI probe into the case.

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