MUMBAI: The state government has ordered a high-level probe into the attack on a Dalit woman who was allegedly beaten and stripped by members of an upper caste in Satara district earlier this week. The home department made this announcement after Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said that the state would leave no stone unturned to bring the culprits to book.
Chavan drew flak as Moolagaon in Patan taluka of Satara district is barely 35 km from his hometown Karad and he did not visit the village. The inquiry panel will be headed by Inspector General of Police K L Bishnoi.
The Dalit woman, Rekha Chavan, was attacked on January 9 by the parents and relatives of the girl who they believed had eloped with the victim’s son. The daughter of an accused, Kisan Desai, and son of the victim have been missing since December 18 last year.
On January 9, Kisan, joined by four others, including three women, approached the 45-year-old woman near a public well and demanded information about eloped couple’s whereabouts. As the woman was unable to give them any information, they assaulted her and allegedly stripped her of some clothes.
Initially the police hesitated to lodge an FIR, claim Dalit activists, and relented only when the issue was widely covered by the media. The police have arrested Kisan along with Hambirrao Desai, Shantabai Desai, Vimal Desai and Sunita Desai. Police sources say that the accused women have confessed to beating the woman, but denied allegations of stripping the victim.
Meanwhile, the girl had written to the police that she was safe and her parents should not worry about her, said home department officials.