Mewat gangrape: NCM points fingers at gau rakshaks, questions police inaction
Haryana Police is notorious for its biryani raids along the highway where they search for beef. It is now also under the scanner for its investigation into the ghastly double murder of a Muslim couple and the gangrape of two young Muslim women in August this year.
On 22 September, a team of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) visited Dingerheri village in Mewat district where the two crimes took place. The team, made up of NCM Chairman Naseem Ahmad and Praveen Davar, has also pointed towards the alleged role of gau rakshaks in these incidents. A copy of the report has also been sent to the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
"The incident has shaken the people of the area and there is a lot of resentment, especially among the Muslim community, partly due to the allegations that the culprits were gau rakshaks. There is a need to convey a clear message that culprits of such heinous crimes would not be spared. Such a step is more relevant in the context of the Mewat district," the report states.
The team met the victims' family and villagers during its two-hour visit and discussed the incident with local authorities. The locals reportedly told the delegation that the rape victim had been confronted by the accused persons about whether she ate beef. "But this fact has been omitted from the statement recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC and that the accused persons were gau rakshaks," the report claims.
While questioning the role of the police in handling the case, the NCM has also advised the state government to promote communal harmony and restore people's confidence in the law enforcement authorities.
"Although, on the demand of the people of the area, the state government has transferred the case to CBI, but since law and order is the state subject, the government is well advised to take steps to promote communal harmony and restore people's confidence in the functioning of the police. There is a need to convey a clear message that culprits of such heinous crimes would not be spared," the Commission says in the report.
On the night of 24-25 August, a gang of men from the neighbouring Mohammadpur village entered Dingerheri. They broke into the house of farmer Mohammad Ibrahim, where his relatives were also sleeping.
Ibrahim and his wife Rasheedan, both in their late 30s, were brutally beaten, while two of his nieces - a 16-year-old and a 21-year-old married woman with a one year-old baby - were gangraped by four men. Ibrahim and his wife succumbed to injuries on their way to the hospital. The gang also robbed the house.
The Tauru police initially considered it a case of normal robbery, which created a furore among the local Muslim community. The investigation was then handed over to a Special Investigation Team (SIT). However, it has also allegedly tried to shield the real culprits.
On 1 September, a Mahapanchayat called in the area demanded a CBI probe. The Khattar government acceded to the demand on 20 September.
More in Catch - Manohar Lal Khattar labels Mewat gang-rape case as small issue