Several members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) gheraoed the collectorate in Chhattisgarh on Saturday as police arrested fourteen and detained several others members of the RSS affiliated outfit. The arrest was made following a protest launched by the ABVP workers to seek justice for the two tribals minor girls, one of whom was brutally gang-raped and the other was forcefully sent to a church in Andhra Pradesh for religious conversion in Kawardha district of Chhattisgarh earlier this month.
Almost 500 ABVP workers surrounded the collectorate and raised slogans against the Congress-led state government and the police administration. Speaking to Opindia, ABVP state secretary Shubham Jaiswal said that they would continue to protest until justice is not delivered to the two tribal girls and their families and their fellow workers are not released by the Chhattisgarh police.
While the ABVP accused Chhattisgarh police of inaction in the two cases, police, in turn, said that the arrests were made as the protesting ABVP workers breached police barricades to forcefully enter the collectorate.
14-year-old Chhattisgarh tribal girl gang-raped
Speaking about one of the incidents, Shubham Jaiswal told us that a 14-year-old tribal girl was raped by four unidentified persons in Chhattisgarh’s Kabirdham district on November 22, 2020. The incident took place on Sunday night under the City Kotwali police station area of Kawardha town, the district headquarters. The minor victim had reached the police station in an extremely terrible condition with her body soaked in blood, but instead of registering her complaint, Shubham said that the police concluded that the victim had gone to hang out with her boyfriend.
The ABVP state secretary furthered that after the victim was released from the hospital, she was shocked to see her perpetrators roaming around freely on the streets. She once again went to the police station to lodge a complaint. But by then, the SP of City Kotwali police station had reportedly proclaimed that it was a conspiracy weaved by the victim. Shubham asserted that along with the accused, strict action should also be taken against the investigating officer and the police officer who accused the 14-year-old victim of hatching a conspiracy.
13-year-old tribal girl in Chhattisgarh forcefully converted to Christianity
Divulging details of the second case, Shubham told Opindia that ABVP workers are also seeking justice for the 13-year-old tribal girl who was recently lured and taken to Andhra Pradesh where she was presurrised to adopt Christianity. He said that the minor and her family was lured on the pretext of providing her with free education in city’s famous Holy Cross School. She was then sent to a church in Andhra Pradesh where she was forced to take up Christianity.
ABVP seeks justice for women
The ABVP state secretary furthered that their intention was to only seek justice for the two tribal girls. However, owing to the police apathy and laxity in handling the cases, they were compelled to gherao the collector’s office. Shubham divulged that many local leaders along with Congress leader Mohammad Akbar reached the police station lately and exerted pressure on the police administration who in turn arrested the ABVP workers under non bailable sections of the IPC and threw them in jail. He informed that despite several attempts, his colleagues have not yet been released by the police.
Though Opindia is not in possession of the FIR lodged in the above two cases, according to the information provided to us by Shubham Jaiswal, besides once accused named Rizwan Khan, all the others, accused of raping the 14-year-old minor girl, were also minors. Shubham alleged that Chhattisgarh police have not yet handed over the medical report of the victim and the copy of the FIR copy to the victim’s family.
Rajnandgaon BJP MP Santosh Pandey critised the Chhattisgarh police for their apathy and said that the way they have been after the ABVP workers had they pursued the rape case of the minor victim, the accused would have been arrested by now. According to the information received, IPC sections as grave as 186, 188, 353, 147, 427 and 3 other sections related to demage of public property, has been slapped on the arrested ABVP workers.
Chhattisgarh Police’s version
When Opindia approached the authorities to know the police’s take on the entire fiasco, they confirmed arresting 14 ABVP workers and sending them to jail. The police said that the protesting worker breached barricades and forcefully made their way into the collector’s office. They confirmed that 4 accused in the gang-rape case have been nabbed and they are trying to arrest the accused in the second case also.