Skip to main content

Suspicious death of Adivasi hockey girls: Hundreds protest cop ‘inaction’ in Jharkhand

By Our Representative
Hundreds of people gathered at Simdega, Jharkhand, to protest against alleged lapses in police investigation into the death of two young Adivasi girls, who were hockey players. The protest on October 19 was organised by the National Federation of Indian Women in association with several other civil rights organisations.
These included the Adivasi Women’s Network, Bagaicha, the National Human Rights Organization (NHRO), the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) Watch, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), the United Milli Forum, and several organizations associated Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha.
On August 11, two young girls, Shradhha Shalini Soreng (14 years) and Sunandini Bage (23 years), were found dead, hanging from a tree in Arani village of Simdega district. The girls were promising hockey players. The girls stayed with a person Mary Purty in Rourkela who had promised coaching help to them.
Shradha’s father Rajesh Soreng, addressing the gathering, said that from the beginning itself, before starting the investigation, the police claimed that it was a suicide. The police kept telling the family that they met the coach and had found that Shradha was not a ‘nice’ girl.
Cops claimed, they had come to know that both the girls were in a homosexual relationship. And hence they were convinced that it was a suicide. They verbally abused the family members several times regarding Sharadha’s “bad” behaviour. They kept saying, “Aapki beti gande-gande kaam karti thi”.
Sunandini’s mother said, the parents were not aware of any homosexual relationship between them, adding, they were convinced that it was not a suicide but a murder, and the coach was involved in their deaths.
A neighbour of Shradha, who had seen her grow up from her childhood, said that she was a dedicated sportswoman. Three days before the incident, Shradha and her daughter had met, the neighbour continued. Shradha was cheerful. She went to Rourkela to inquire into the case and found that neighbours of the coach thought she was involved in sexual exploitation of the girls at her place.
President of the gram sabha, where the girls were found hanging, said that the police did not wait for any witness before taking the bodies down from the tree. He added, the cops did not conduct field investigation after the death. They did not even talk to people of that village. Several other people of Shradha’s and Sunandini’s village said that the police was threatening the victims’ family members and trying to falsely build a case of suicide.
NFIW’s Taramani Sahu, who was part of a civil society fact-finding team that inquired into the incident, addressing the dharna, said that the local police had threatened the family members not to talk to civil society inquiry teams.
There were several loose ends in the investigation by the police. Just based on the testimony of one girl Pushpa Lohar (14-years old, also stayed at the coach’s residence), the police developed a story of suicide driven by a homosexual relationship.
Sahu said, eye witnesses near the site of the incident had seen that the girls were followed by a bike and a car. Regina Xalxo, one of members of the inquiry team, added, the coach initially refused to talk to them when they went to her place.
The coach was not able to tell the team about details about her coaching engagements. James Herenj of the NREGA Watch, said that Simdega police was trying to create a false story of suicide because if they declare it to be a murder, then questions will be raised on their own functioning.
At the end of the dharna, the protesters submitted a memorandum addressed to the governor to the local administration demanding
  • Form a Special Investigation Team to conduct fresh and through probe into the death, possibility of murder and inquire the allegations against the coach
  • Stop character assassClick ination of the victims 
  • Take action against the police officials responsible for the lapses in investigation, for building a false case of suicide and for character assassination of the victims
---
Click HERE for fact-finding report

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.

Global Hunger Index: Govt of India response pathetic, 'lacks' scientific empirical evidence

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* Come 16 October – and the world once again focused on the most basic need for a person’s survival: food! The first World Food Day was observed in 1994, to mark the launch of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Ever since, the day is marked to highlight the need and importance of food security across the world. The significance is accentuated especially in these difficult times like the C-19 povidandemic. The theme for 2021 is ‘Safe Food Now for a Healthier Tomorrow’, emphasising on the various immediate and long-term benefits of consuming safe and healthy food.

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.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.

Nehru legacy? GDP-centric growth has had 'no positive impact' on people's livelihood

By Dr Kamal Nayan Kabra*  Experience has shown that many counties adopt measures to go in for the growth of their GDP, basically in the existing framework, though also going in for, at the same time, new products and technologies and similar other changes. It is believed that by means of this process enough new job opportunities would emerge to meet the economy’s needs both in terms of numbers as also in terms of the requisite remuneration (wages) as also the supplies of the goods and services to maintain the economy on an even keel.