RAIPUR: A three-member team from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) arrived in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh to begin their investigation into allegations that Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel molested tribal schoolgirls when they came to tie rakhis to them back in August.
Personnel of the 221 battalion of CRPF allegedly groped some girls on the pretext of frisking and later molested them in a toilet in Palnar when 500 students of a state-run residential school in Dantewada were bused to the barracks for a rakhi event.
After a furore arose over the incident, two jawans were arrested by the Chattisgarh police and suspended by the force, which also instituted a court of inquiry.
The case was brought to the notice of the NHRC, which sent a team led by deputy superintendent of police M S Gill to Raipur on Tuesday. The NHRC team drove straight to Dantewada by road.
Activist Mamta Sharma said the NHRC’s intervention was sought after the district administration tried to cover up the incident. “Why didn’t the collector and superintendent of police immediately register a case and begin the investigation? Why did they silence the hostel superintendent? What the security personnel did with the girls during those 15 minutes inside the toilet should be known to all."
Security forces in Bastar, battling left-wing extremists, have in the past been accused of human rights violations including gang-rape, physical assault and looting.
In January, the human rights watchdog found that at least 16 women were subjected to rape and sexual and physical violence by security personnel in Bijapur in 2015.