Gang-rape victims, families evicted from Jantar Mantar

Delhi Police and the New Delhi Municipal Council have been accused of forcibly evicting four gang-rape victims and their families, who were protesting at Jantar Mantar since April 6.

The victims, aged between 13 and 18 years, belong to the Dhanuk sub-caste in Bhagana village of Haryana’s Hisar district. They were allegedly gang-raped after being kidnapped on March 23.

After the incident, the villagers said the khap panchayat imposed a social boycott against the caste, forcing 250 families to leave their homes and flee the village.

They had been protesting at Jantar Mantar demanding a fair probe along with a fast-track court to hear the case.

The villagers were also joined by activists and students from DU and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

According to protesters, they were sleeping at the protest venue when some 300 policemen with the NDMC came there at 6 am.

“They ordered us to evict the area by noon.

They beat us, including women, and uprooted our tent,” one of the protesters said.

The officials left after telling them to leave the area by noon.

At 2 pm, five representatives of the protesters reached Parliament Street police station, which is a few hundred metres away from Jantar Mantar.

“They met the station house officer. He asked them to wait. Then they returned to Jantar Mantar and took some people along to the police station,” the protester said.

Additional Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) S B S Tyagi said that only NDMC officials had reached Jantar Mantar since it is under their area.

“We had given the protesters permission to sit for only a day. But they had been staying there for a long time, sleeping and eating there. So the NDMC came there to evict them,” he said. Tyagi said 25 protesters reached Parliament Street police station. They were detained and freed later.

The victims said they were kidnapped and raped after they went to a field to relieve themselves on March 23.

It is alleged that five Jat men dragged them and forced them into a car. The girls were found the next day at Bathinda railway station.

So far Haryana Police have arrested five persons.

The community also wants the village sarpanch to be arrested.

The villagers also demanded the arrest of five more persons in connection with the incident.

They said the four victims be paid a compensation of Rs 1 crore each, and it be paid to the families who were driven away following the boycott.

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