Skip to main content

UP govt "failed" to provide justice to Muzaffarnagar rape victims: UK-based NGO Amnesty's mid-poll report

By Our Representative
Amidst indications that the Samajwadi Party (SP)-Congress alliance may win the Uttar Pradesh elections, top UK-based human rights organization Amnesty International has reminded chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s SP government that even three years after Muzaffarnagar riots, “no justice in sight for gang-rape survivors”.
In a report just published by it, Amnesty has said that the UP government has “failed to expeditiously investigate and prosecute the seven cases of gang-rape filed after the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots and deliver justice”.
The report, titled “Losing Faith: The Muzaffarnagar Gang-rape Survivors’ Struggle for Justice”, details the cases of seven Muslim women who came forward after the September 2013 riots to report that they had been gang-raped, all by men from the Jat community.
Over three years after the riots, the report says, the there has not been “a single conviction in any of the cases”, adding, “Despite changes to India’s laws in 2013 requiring trials in rape cases to be completed without unnecessary delay, trials have proceeded extremely slowly.”
Particularly taking on the state government and successive central governments for failing to “adequately protect the survivors from threats and harassment”, which has led them to retract their statements, on one hand, and get adequate reparation, the report states, “In all seven gang-rape cases, the police took months to file charges, and even after they did so, trials have proceeded extremely slowly.”
Amnesty has been in the forefront of criticizing the Government of India for cancelling the foreign funding licenses of several NGOs. In a joint statement, Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW)  demanded in NOvember that the government should show how these restrictions are necessary and also repeal or amend the FCRA.
Calling it the UP government’s failure, Aakar Patel, executive director, Amnesty International India, says “The government’s apparent lack of interest in delivering justice also goes against the spirit of the legal reforms passed in 2013 to end impunity for violence against women.”
“The new government in Uttar Pradesh, which will take office in March, must ensure that the investigations and prosecutions in all the cases are pursued vigorously without undue delay, and that survivors are provided full reparation”, Amnesty demands.
The report is based on Amnesty’s interview with six of the gang rape survivors at a briefing on the riots. These victims filed FIRs between July 2016 and January 2017. “We are still scared when we leave home,” the report quotes one of the survivors as telling Amnesty.
“Even where the police filed charges – which took between six and 14 months in most cases – the trials did not commence immediately”, Amnesty regrets, adding, “In three cases, survivors identified and named the men they said had raped them in their FIRs, but then retracted their statements in court.”
“Some of them later admitted that they had been compelled to do so after facing pressure and threats to their safety and that of their families, and a lack of adequate support and security from the authorities”, the report underlines.
Human rights lawyer Vrinda Grover, who has represented the survivors in the Supreme Court, is quoted as saying that while the victims are being told “stand up in court in a rape trial, and give evidence”, but in the process the victims’ life, or the life of their children or other family members is put at stake.
Pointing towards state police indifference, the report says, initially it did not invoke Section 376(2)(g) of the Indian Penal Code, which specifically recognizes the offence of rape during communal or sectarian violence, in the FIRs registered in September and October 2013 and February 2014.
“There were also delays in filing FIRs, conducting medical examinations and recording the statements of the survivors before a magistrate”, the report insists, adding, “All seven survivors have received little assistance from authorities in helping them rebuild their lives despite suffering enormous damage to their livelihoods.”

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Gujarat religious freedom amendment bill 'pursues' votebank politics, is anti-minority

Gujarat home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja  By Our Representative  A Gujarat-based minority rights organisation, taking strong exception to the state assembly last week passing the Gujarat Religious Freedom (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has asserted that the proposed law “is completely unconstitutional”, even as asking the Gujarat governor to give his accent to it.