A young woman, hospitalized with substantial burn injuries suffered allegedly due to a self-immolation attempt as she was reportedly fed up with rape by 14 men here, had approached the police 10 months back but there was no action.
The Uttar Pradesh Police has finally woken up and ordered a departmental inquiry into the inaction into a complaint of rape received in July last year from the woman against the accused people of Shyampur Jatt village where she was married for the second time in 2012.
Asked when the complaint of rape was received by the police, he said it was in July 2018.
The woman, who has alleged that she was raped by several people over a period of time, allegedly attempted self-immolation on April 28 in the house of her live-in partner, a former army man, and was taken to a government hospital in Moradabad.
The case came to light after Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal sent a letter to Uttar Pradesh Police informing then about the incident and that the police did not take any action on the woman's complaint.
Maliwal, in her complaint, also said that the woman had received 80 per cent burns after she attempted self-immolation.
The police FIR also reads that the father of the woman had sold her for Rs 10,000.
The Hapur SSP said neither the woman nor her live-in partner informed the Moradabad police and it came to know about the fire incident from the hospital.
The Moradabad police needs to find out whether she had attempted self-immolation or there was any other angle into it, Singh said.
Asked what action was taken by the police into her complaint, he said: "I have asked the officials to share a detailed action taken report."
On the basis of her complaint, 16 people have been booked, the SP said.
Asked if any arrest has been made in the case of rape, he said: "Till today no arrest has been made in the case but we will take action after verifying the complaint and allegations."
He said an investigation is underway and arrests will take place after collection of evidence.
According to reports, the woman has alleged that she was sold by her father when she was 14 and married to a much elder man. Since then, her agony began.
The SSP said a delegation of the villagers have met him and given a memorandum that gives a completely different picture.
"People of Shyampur Jatt have given a memorandum to me. In their memorandum, people have said that the allegations made against them are not completely true. And they have demanded a thorough probe before action and they have said that no such incident has occurred," he said.
A senior police official involved in the probe said the woman was residing in Moradabad since 2018.
"And whenever the police tried to reach her to verify the allegations she was always unavailable," he said.
The woman's father denied the allegations that he sold her for Rs 10,000.
"I spent over Rs 50,000 in her marriage in 2010, why would I sell her for Rs 10,000?"
"She has made our life hell," he alleged and said his daughter and her live-in partner should be put behind the bars.
Asked about the allegations made by her daughter against 14 people of raping her, he said: "Will 14 people rape her? If sometime later she accuses the entire village of raping her, will the police put all the villagers behind the bars?"
"I cannot find the truth."
The father of the man, who retired from the army in 2007 and with whom the woman was staying in Moradabad, said he had tried to make his son understand that it was not right to stay with a married woman like this.
"But when he didn't pay heed to our requests, we ended all contact with him since the last one year," he said.
The villagers of Shyampur Jatt also said that the woman had earlier declared her first husband dead in the affidavit of her second marriage.
Her first husband, who also deposed before the police, said: "I was married to her on June 28, 2010. We got divorced after seven months.
"Then in the affidavit for her second marriage, they declared me dead in a road accident."
The woman's second husband also deposed before the police and narrated that she ran off from his house one and a half years ago.
"She left two of the children at home and the third child at her sister's place in Moradabad," he said, adding that his brother-in-law then brought the child back to him.
(Anand Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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