ST commission for probe into 'rape' of tribal women by security forces

ST commission for probe into 'rape' of tribal women by security forces

ST commission for probe into 'rape' of tribal women by security forces

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes today recommended Chhattisgarh government to launch a CID enquiry into allegations of rape and assault of tribal women by security forces in insurgency-hit Bijapur district last year.

The chairperson of the commission, Rameshwar Oraon made recommendations in this regard while chairing a meeting of senior state officials at Circuit House here.

"We have recommended a probe by the state's CID into rape charges on security forces by tribal women of Bijapur," Oraon told reporters after the meeting.

The commission had yesterday visited Bijapur and interacted with the women who had alleged that they were raped and thrashed by the joint security forces, comprising CRPF and district police forces, in Peddagellur, Chinnagelur and Pegdapalli villages of Basaguda block on October 19-20 when the security personnel were carrying out a search operation.

"We met seven victims who have confirmed the incident (of rape). We have also seen their medical report in which their charges appear to be true. Doctors have mentioned in the report that the women have injury marks on their back and legs and they were beaten up," he said.

When asked to clarify, Oraon said the medical reports do not say there was rape but the victims have confirmed it.

"The commission's role is to ensure a fair probe into the incident," he said.Pushing for a CID probe, Oraon said the investigation by the district police may not yield a fair result as the forces, carrying out the operation, were led by the district police on the day of the incident.

"Therefore, the commission felt the need for a CID probe into the incident. We have recommended to state government for it and the officials in the meeting have assured of necessary action," he said, adding the meeting also explored ways to provide relief to the victims.  

The commission also suggested various measures, including roping in women police personnel while carrying out operations by security forces, to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

"Anti-naxal operations are being carried out in several states and many times such incidents were reported. Therefore, we have suggested to include women police personnel during patrolling by security forces," Oraon said.

He said another suggestion is that security forces should stay outside village while halting in forest during their operation.

"During investigation (of Bijapur incident), it was found that security forces stayed inside the village and allegations levelled against them," he said.

He said whenever the forces launch an operation in the region they should be led and accompanied by enough number of responsible senior officers so that they can maintain discipline and control in the squad.

Additional Chief Secretary, Tribal and Scheduled Caste Welfare Department, NK Aswal, Principal Secretary, Home, BVR Subramaniam, ADGP Rajesh Shrivastav and other officials were present at the meeting.  

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