Chhattisgarh rapes: Women’s rights body welcomes NHRC findings

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New Delhi | Published: January 9, 2017 12:57:01 AM

A women's rights body has welcomed the findings of NHRC probe indicting Chhattisgarh police in the rape and assault of 16 women, and urged the human rights body to ensure criminal prosecution of the accused.

The National Human Rights Commission had yesterday sent a notice to the Chhattisgarh government over the alleged rape, sexual and physical assault of 16 women by the state police personnel. (Reuters)The National Human Rights Commission had yesterday sent a notice to the Chhattisgarh government over the alleged rape, sexual and physical assault of 16 women by the state police personnel. (Reuters)

A women’s rights body has welcomed the findings of NHRC probe indicting Chhattisgarh police in the rape and assault of 16 women, and urged the human rights body to ensure criminal prosecution of the accused. They also sought “clear and unambiguous guidelines” for conducting anti-Maoist operations.

In a press statement, the Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) called the findings “the tip of the iceberg”.

“The cases where FIRs have been filed may be only the tip of the iceberg. Reports of sexual violence by security forces continue to come in from other villages in the Bastar belt where search and combing operations were carried out.”

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had yesterday sent a notice to the Chhattisgarh government over the alleged rape, sexual and physical assault of 16 women by the state police personnel, and observed that the government was “vicariously liable” for it.

According to NHRC, of the total 34 victims mentioned in the FIRs, the commission could record the statements of only 14 victims and the statement of 20 victims are yet to be recorded.

WSS expressed hope that the NHRC probe would put an end to the “reign of terror” unleashed by police and security forces.

“The NHRC order is an explicit acknowledgement of grievous rights abuses, and gives us reason to hope not only of justice for the violated women, but an end to the reign of terror created by the police and security forces in the name of anti-Maoist operations,” the press statement said.

WSS has also submitted a report to NHRC on Bastar police and IG SRP Kalluri for launching “an all-out vendetta” against Adivasi leaders, human rights activists, lawyers, academics and journalists “to ensure that there are no witnesses to the gross violations of the human rights of Adivasi citizens in the war against Maoists in Bastar”.

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