Two inquiries launched after CRPF jawans accused of molesting tribal school girls at Raksha Bandhan function in Chhattisgarh
By Ejaz Kaiser | Express News Service | Published: 07th August 2017 08:03 PM |
RAIPUR: The Chhattisgarh police and the CRPF have begun separate investigations into the alleged molestation of school girls by CRPF personnel at a government-run Ashram at Palnar in Maoist-affected Dantewada district in south Chhattisgarh.
“We have received complaints that some girls were physically frisked with sexual overtones by unknown CRPF jawans who were guarding the area near the girl's toilet during a cultural programme held last week. About 500 girls gathered there to tie sacred threads (rakhi) on paramilitary personnel,” Dantewada collector Saurabh Kumar told the New Indian Express.
The collector along with the superintendent of police and CRPF DIG visited the ashram for a personal inquiry.
A team led by additional SP, the chief executive officer of district panchayat, and two women officials - a tehsildar and a district education officer, has been constituted.
Considering the gravity, the CRPF on Monday decided to conduct an internal court of inquiry on the basis of the complaint.
The complainants are tribal girls studying in Class 11. The police on Monday booked unidentified suspects under the relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, Dantewada officials told the New Indian Express.
The girls will be shown images of jawans who were on duty that day in and around the spot of the incident. “In view of the girls and their families security, the jawans will not be paraded before them but we will share photographs of the troopers”, a senior district requesting anonymity told this paper.
The issue was highlighted by activist Himanshu Kumar on Facebook alleging that at least four girls were molested at the cultural event organised by a regional news channel on Rakshabandhan.
“After the event, some girls went to the toilet where they were molested by CRPF jawans. This has also been confirmed by local villagers and the girls are also reporting pain”, said Kumar.
In Bastar, the security forces battling left-wing extremists also face charges of human rights violations including gang-rape, physical assault and looting.
In January, 2017, human rights watchdog NHRC during its investigation prima-facie found that at least 16 women were victims of rape, sexual violence and physical assault perpetrated by security forces in Bijapur in 2015.