VIJAYAPURA: A 30-year-old Army jawan, posted in Assam, is struggling to get justice for his 20-year-old sister, who was allegedly raped for more than a year at a village in Muddebihal taluk. The jawan told The New Indian Express that his sister — who got enrolled for PU at a college in Muddibehal in 2015 — was raped allegedly by Rambabu B Aningoni, 50, a resident of Andhra Pradesh, and a local liquor shop owner for 15 months. Rambabu allegedly threatened her not to reveal the crime to her family or friends. The girl, however, informed her parents. Fearing that the incident would tarnish their honour, the family did not approach the police, the jawan said. His parents, also, did not inform him of the incident.
When the jawan came home on vacation from Assam in 2017, he caught Rambabu sexually assaulting his sister, who was 19 then. The jawan caught hold of Rambabu, thrashed him and then paraded him semi-naked in the village before handing him over to the police. The cops, however, refused to register a complaint. After four days of continuous appeal, they registered a complaint on June 17, 2017, the jawan said. They failed to pursue the case further as Rambabu was allegedly politically influential. He was released on the same day from custody, the jawan said.
Frustrated, the jawan warned Rambabu at his liquor shop. The jawan, to protect himself from Rambabu’s supporters, fired in the air using his licensed army pistol. According to the jawan, Rambabu then filed a complaint against him accusing him of attempting to kill. The police then arrested the jawan and seized his pistol and registered a case under IPC Section 307 against him. The jawan, who was on a vacation, failed to report to duty on time. Army authorities, who came in his search, found him in jail and soon took him out of jail as per rules and asked the authorities for a detailed report on the incident.
After the incident, the jawan visited his hometown thrice and approached the police for an update. But, the police and the liquor shop owner’s supporters thrashed him, he said. Disappointed, the jawan approached the then Vijayapura SP Kuldeepkumar Jain, who assured him of taking action against the erring police personnel and the person who raped his sister. The jawan also wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office in this regard. Replying, the PMO directed the Chief Secretary of Karnataka to initiate action. The Chief Secretary directed the Vijayapura SP to act on the case. But, the jawan’s efforts went in vain as no action was initiated.
On April 19, 2018, the jawan’s regiment wrote to the SP and Deputy Commissioner asking for a report. But, even after a month, they failed to respond to the letter, the jawan said.When TNIE asked SP Prakash Nikkam about the incident, he said, “I was busy in election duty ... I haven’t received any letter from the Army. But, I will look into the case and will reply at the earliest. Stringent action will also be initiated against the police personnel who denied to initiate action,” the SP added.
“Being a jawan, I am failing to get justice for my sister. The police are least bothered about the case. We work at the border to protect our country ... but at the same time, we are failing to protect our family. I wrote a letter to all the ministers, including CM and PM, but nothing happened,” the jawan told TNIE.
Meanwhile, villagers, former army men associations, and other women organisations staged a protest against the local police.