Muzaffarnagar on edge after another gang-rape

Incident sparks violence; six police personnel suspended

Muzaffarnagar on edge after another gang-rape

Tension has flared up once again in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district following the alleged gang-rape of a mentally challenged woman, who is a mother of seven children.

Muzaffarnagar had witnessed large-scale communal riots in September last year. Hundreds of people from several villages of the district held a panchayat at Dulhera (the victim’s village), thrashed the in-charge of Shahpur Police Station, Hindveer Singh, and roughed up other policemen and district officials claiming that they tried to hush up the matter. 

According to police sources here, the woman who is widowed, was allegedly gang-raped by eight people at a graveyard near Bassi village on Tuesday night. It was said that the victim’s family was initially asked not to register a complaint. 

However, the victim’s brother approached the Shahpur police on Thursday night for registration of a complaint. He was allegedly assaulted and shooed away. The news spread like wildfire and people from Bassi, Kutba Kutbi, Palra, Mukundpur, Kamalpur, Kakda and other villages assembled at Dulhera village and held a panchayat on Friday to chalk out a strategy.

The angry mob thrashed SHO Hindveer Singh, who was trying to pacify them. The crowd also roughed up the district police chief. Six police personnel, including Singh, have been suspended. The circle officer of Budhana has been sent to the lines, sources said.

As the suspects belong to a different community, the incident sparked off tension in the district. Security personnel were deployed at Dulhera and Bassi villages to maintain law and order.

A case has been registered and efforts are on to trace the suspects. The victim has been sent for a medical examination.

Last year’s communal riots, which had claimed 62 lives and left thousands homeless, had erupted after an incident of molestation of a girl by youth of a different community.

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