Professional protestor Yogendra Yadav who is currently protesting on behalf of ‘farmers’, on Monday admitted how he knew about the sexual harassment faced by the woman as well as her possible kidnapping by the culprits. He made these revelations in a press conference.
Explaining the chronology of events, Yadav said that Sanyukt Kisan Morcha gave a call to defeat the BJP in Bengal elections and under that call, many teams reached West Bengal to hold ‘farmer protest’ and try to change the mood against the BJP. He claimed that one team, ‘Kisan Social Army’ consisting of 6 members also reached West Bengal on 1st April. Yadav then put up a disclaimer that he was not aware of such a team.
He claimed that the woman ‘activist’ decided to go to Delhi to participate in the protests. She left with the members of ‘Kisan Social Army’ from West Bengal to Delhi. Yadav claimed that only 5 out of the 6 people were returning to Delhi.
Yadav adds that the woman had said that she was harassed on the train journey to Delhi. On 12th April she reached Delhi where she was again sexually assaulted. He claimed the ‘leadership’ was unaware of the same. Around 18th-19th April, she fell unwell and was given medicines. Since her symptoms were like COVID, she was taken to hospital. Her health deteriorated till 22nd-23rd April. Yadav claims that he got to know of her on 24th April when the woman’s father approached him for her COVID treatment.
Yadav admits that he made his wife, who speaks Bangla, to talk to the girl to assure her of help. The woman had at that time hinted about harassment, ‘but she did not specify,’ Yadav claims. He then adds that on 25th April when he tried to contact the woman, she was not at the hospital. The father of the girl informed him that she was being taken elsewhere. At that time, he finally called her and spoke to her.
On 25th April, Yadav admits that he felt their conversation was being overheard. “Since I speak some Bangla, I asked her if the people taking her away are they nice people, she said no. I got suspicious. I asked her to make me talk to them. When I spoke with them, Anil and Anup were in the car. I asked them where are they taking her. They informed me they are taking her to Bengal to her father,” Yadav said.
Yadav further added that the duo claimed they had crossed Agra and were on their way to Kolkata. Yadav got further suspicious and asked the girl to send him her location on WhatsApp. But the location she sent was from Haryana and not Agra as claimed by the duo. He called the woman again and told the men who had taken her away that ‘if you do not take us seriously, we will have to take strict action. Bring the car back to Delhi,’ he instructed.
On 25th April night they returned to the Tikri border and arranged for her treatment. On 29th April her father came to Delhi but on 30th April, she succumbed to COVID.
“On 1st May, after doing her last rites, her father came to us along with a witness Yogita. I was told this was not just COVID but also more,” he said. Yadav admits that on 1st May, the victim’s father told him in detail about the sexual abuse faced by his daughter. “That is when we realised this was more than harassment,” Yadav said.
Yadav claims on 3rd May the committee met at Tikri border and discussed the case and decided to stand by the victim. He claimed that they took the steps they could from their side, like ‘boycotting them, removing their tent and appeal for social boycott from the stage’ within 24 hours. He claimed that they waited for the father to take legal action as ‘family has first right’ and father was in a dilemma as the victim had asked for justice but also asked to not ‘defame Sanyukt Kisan Morcha’.
Eventually, the girl’s father decided to file a police complaint.
We reported earlier in the day that a woman from West Bengal was reportedly raped by two men, both members of the Aam Aadmi Party, when she was going to join the farmer protest site at the Tikri border, Delhi. The father of the woman had filed a complaint based on which an FIR was registered by the Police under Sections 120B, 342, 354, 365, 376D and 506. He said in his complaint that his daughter was forced on the train and in the tent at the protest site by accused Anil and Anup Singh.
Accused claims conspiracy to defame farmers’ protest
While the former AAP leader tries his best to distance himself from the incident, a report by Times Now has revealed that one of the accused has also refuted the allegations against him. Accused Anup Singh has claimed that a ploy has been hatched to defame the ongoing farmers’ protest. In a video message, the AAP leader said that there was an incident of “assault” on-board the train, but the accusations of “rape at the Tikri border” are “false”.
“Culprits should be punished. But rape accusations are wrong… I am still at the Tikri border site,” Singh claimed.
Victim’s father contends that Yogendra Yadav was aware of the brutalities meted out on his daughter
It is pertinent to note here, that the Hindi daily, Dainik Bhaskar in its report had cited the woman’s father to contend that Yadav was aware of the brutalities meted out on his daughter, and yet he turned a blind eye to it. The report says that Yadav was in touch with the woman since April 24, before her death, and was aware of her predicament. However, he did not inform the police about the incident, which raises the question of whether he wanted to hide the misdeeds of the accused.
Woman who died of COVID at Tikri border protest site was raped and blackmailed
The matter came to light after the father of the woman filed a complaint based on which an FIR was registered by the Police under Sections 120B, 342, 354, 365, 376D and 506. As per the police, they have formed a team to track down two of the accused in the case.
As per the complaint, on April 10, the woman, aged around 25 years, came to Tikri border protest site from West Bengal with a group to join the farmers’ protest against the recently enacted agriculture laws. On April 26, she was admitted to a hospital in the Jhajjar district after showing Covid symptoms. Vijay Kumar, Police Officer at Bahadurgarh Police Station, said, “She died on April 30. Her father has filed a case of rape against two men.”