A Dalit teen was allegedly beaten up at a police station in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhatarpur city when she went to lodge a rape complaint, PTI reported on Thursday.
Three police officers were suspended on Wednesday for not lodging the complaint even as they made the girl wait overnight at the police station. The suspended officers have been identified as Kotwali Police Station House Officer Anoop Yadav, Sub-Inspector Mohini Sharma and Assistant Sub- Inspector Gurudutt Shesha, the police said on Thursday.
On August 27, the girl went out of her house but did not return, after which her father lodged a missing complaint at the Kotwali police station, the teenager’s mother said, according to PTI. On August 30, the girl returned and told her parents that a person named Babu Khan had allegedly kidnapped her and raped her for three days.
The girl then went to the police statement to file a rape complaint, but had to face the ordeal. The case was finally registered on September 1 after the district child welfare committee filed a police complaint. The girl’s mother, however, alleged that the police did not include the charges of kidnapping.
Khan was arrested on September 3 under the sections of the Indian Penal Code, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, the police said.
The teenager’s mother alleged that two women police officials had put pressure on her daughter to change her statement on the allegations of rape.
“They beat up my daughter,” she alleged. “Another police officer took me outside. Inside, my daughter was kicked and beaten with belts.”
The girl was allegedly kept at the station while her parents waited outside.
Child Welfare Committee member Afsar Jahan alleged that the police seemed to be trying to save the accused person and force the girl to change her statement. Saurabh Bhatnagar, another member of the panel, said that the committee asked the police to produce documents about the girl’s age after learning she had been mentioned in the FIR as a 17-year-old, instead of 13.
Bhatnagar also said that when a panel member visited the girl’s house, one of the suspended officers was present there with the accused person. A rape accused cannot be brought in the presence of the complainant, according to the law. Bhatnagar added that the law also says that male police officers cannot record the statement of a woman rape complainant.