India Tales: Kanpur cop lets off rapist with just 20 chappal blows
It's another sad reminder of just how lightly the crime of rape is treated in the hinterland of India. In Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, a woman approached a police post in charge to accuse her young neighbour of rape. The cop called both parties to a hearing in full public view, and settled the matter by awarding a punishment of just 20 chappal (slipper) blows to the accused.
The incident took place in Sarwa village, under police post Pama of the Gajner Police Station. The woman lodged a complaint with the Pama police post.
The victim is a married woman and lives with her family. The accused is her neighbour and often used to peep into the house. He took advantage of discord between the victim and her husband, offered to marry her, and raped her on many occasions. When the woman refused to succumb to his desires, he blackmailed her under the threat of making the affair public, after which, she finally gathered up courage to report the matter to the cops.
Police post in charge Vishnu Kant Tiwari reached the village and summoned both parties. The woman narrated the incident, and Tiwari started rebuking the youth. He then awarded the punishment of 20 chappal hits, and proceeded to make sure the 'punishment' was delivered.
The whole incident left villagers perplexed. When some of them tried to protest against this form of 'justice', they were silenced by the police.
The victim, dissatisfied with Tiwari's actions, is planning to approach the local Superintendent of Police. Villagers agree that Tiwari's 'justice' is unfair, as the accused should have been arrested and produced in court.
Legally speaking, Tiwari has committed an offence by trying to destroy the evidence by not getting the victim medically examined to save the accused. He can be booked under Section 120 of the Indian Penal Code for concealing evidence, for which the maximum punishment possible is seven years in jail and/or a fine.
For the last eight months, Radha Jangid, a resident of Chindbhog village in Mungeli district of Chhattisgarh, has walked 10 kilometres every day, in order to find out the truth behind the death of her only son, Dharmendra (19).
Radha's only hope now is for justice. Every day, she repeats the same complaint to the police. But every day, she come back home disappointed.
She insists that her son did not die of illness; her intuition says he was murdered. The police insist that the truth will only be known after the postmortem report is received from the Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences in nearby Bilaspur.
Dharmendra had gone to Delhi to work on a daily wage. In July 2015, the family received word that he suddenly fell ill and died. Radha requested the sub-divisional magistrate to procure a copy of the postmortem report, and on the orders of the SDM, the remains were sent to the CIMS forensic laboratory for the procedure.
But for the last eight months, there has been no report.
Policemen tell her every day that the report is yet to arrive, and Radha is so upset at the callous attitude of the department that sometimes she throws away her bangles at the police station and walks out.
According to Dr Vishnu Dutt, the dean of CIMS, "any postmortem report generally takes 48 hours to complete. But we do not know whether the report is delayed or whether the postmortem itself has not been performed".
Philmon Toppo, the police station in-charge at Pathria, where Radha goes every day, says: "Residents of Chindbhog and Munna Jangid's wife come and complain every day about the death of her son. But only the postmortem report can prompt further action, and that has not arrived."
The violence in Jammu and Kashmir after the encounter of militant Burhan Wani has caused grave concern to a lot of people in India. And now, even a khap leader has raised his voice on the matter, promising to send youth volunteers to fight separatists and rioters
Naresh Tikait, head of Baliyan khap and national chief of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, said the likes of Wani deserved his fate, and added that people who are rioting in support of the militant needed to be dealt with firmly.
"There should be no compromise. If conditions do not improve, the country will be subjected to slavery. Rioters are pelting stones and even grenades at the army - all this is not acceptable and should be countered strongly," Tikait said.
"Separatist powers in Kashmir are becoming a threat to the country's unity, and the government has to take strong steps to curb it."
Tikait challenged the Central government, saying that if it does not have adequate armed forces, he will send jawans to fight free of cost.
"Because of their love for Kashmir, the patriotic spirit of our youth are so high that they are ready to lay down their lives for the country. They do not care for salary; in the interest of the country, they are willing to sacrifice themselves to safeguard against any assault on its unity," Tikait said.
Youth from the Maharajganj district of Uttar Pradesh have produced the biggest samosa the world has ever seen.
Chef Ritesh, with the help of 12 others, worked tirelessly for 13 hours to make a samosa weighing 432 kg, and have staked a claim with the Guinness Book of World Records to break the record of 108 kg set by students of the Bradford College in England.
The youth used 150 kg of maida, 200 kg of potatoes, 60 litres of refined oil, 20 kg vanaspati ghee, two kg groundnuts, 1.5 kg red chilli powder, one kg coriander powder, 500 grams of jaika, five kg salt, 250 grams of tempering ingredients, five kg of green chillies, two kg of garlic, four boxes of kasuri methi and 0.5 kg of turmeric powder to prepare the samosa.
Interestingly, the record for the biggest jalebi in the world is also held by Indian youth. In 2015, Manish Prajapati and others made a jalebi weighing 70.5 kg, getting their names into the Guinness Book.
Edited by Shreyas Sharma
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