The National Commission for Women on Wednesday urged the Assam Police chief to take stern action against officials who allegedly stripped and assaulted three sisters at a police station in Darrang district.

On Tuesday, the Assam Police had suspended two of its officials after the three women filed a complaint, The Indian Express reported. One of the women was pregnant and reportedly suffered a miscarriage because of the assault.

The women’s commission took suo motu cognisance of the matter, and said it was anguished by such misconduct. The commission said the women were not involved in any crime but were only suspected to know the whereabouts of an alleged criminal.

Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia told The Indian Express that the officer in charge of Burha police outpost, Mahendra Sarma, and a woman constable, Binita Boro, were suspended and criminal cases were filed against them. He also directed officials to complete an investigation into the sisters’ allegations within a week.

On September 10, one of the sisters wrote a detailed account of the incident in a police complaint. She said Sarma and Boro “stripped us naked, assaulted us and touched our private parts”. A day earlier, the three sisters aged 28, 30 and 18, were picked up by Sarma during a raid around 1.30 am.

The police claimed that the woman were detained for questioning because a case was registered against their brother, a Muslim, for allegedly abducting a Hindu woman. But the sisters contested this and said the family had “all the proof of the relationship and there was no kidnapping”. However, a police officer said the Hindu woman told them that she was “taken forcibly” by their brother.

The 28-year-old sister in her complaint stated that the assault continued until they were able to contact their brother. “He arrived with the girl at 6.30 am at the outpost,” she said. “He asked them why we were tortured for a case against him. They beat him too. We believe the two of them [her brother and the woman] were involved in a full-fledged affair.”

Sarma assaulted the sisters, while their brother was jailed, the women said, adding that they had photographs showing injuries all over their body. “When we asked Sarma, why are you taking us, he pointed a pistol and said don’t ask too much,” the complainant said. “At the outpost, my husband was locked up and my sister was stripped and hit by a lathi first.”

“My elder sister was also assaulted,” she added. “We told him she was pregnant, OC [Sarma] said don’t do acting.”

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