The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has sought report over death of rape victim of Kunduli in Koraput. Acting on two separate complaint filed by Advocate Nishikanta Mishra and rights Activist Akhand, the Commission has directed Chief Secretary of the state and Police DG to submit action taken reports in the matter within 15 days.
It is noted that Kunduli gang-rape case, the victim, a 14-year old Dalit girl, hanged herself with a scarf when no one was at her home in Musaguda village of Koraput district on 22 January. The Dalit girl had alleged that she was gang-raped by four security personnel at nearby Sorispadar forest close to Kunduli when she was returning home from a market near the village on 10th October, 2017.
She had even told newsmen on 29 December 2017 in a public hearing at Bhubaneswar that she was under pressure from the police to withdraw the case and claimed she was offered money by senior police officers to sign a blank paper and change her statement.
Her family members said she took the extreme step as the officials were in denial mode that she was raped at all.
The petitioner said, “The state government and the Crime Branch are responsible for the death of the Kunduli gang rape victim. She committed suicide as the Crime Branch could not investigate the matter properly.”
It’s a failure of the whole system. It violates the human rights of the victim and her family members, said Mishra.
Akhand said, No proper counselling was provided to the victim at first stage. Again, in the name of investigation, police officials with uniform were questioned the victim in police station, Hospital and in her home. And put pressure on her to withdraw her complaint about rape.”
“The Collector & District Magistrate, Koraput and the Superintendent of Police, Koraput are failed to provide protection to the victim and her parents despite the direction of the Honorable commission in previous case, added Akhand.
Taking cognizance on the matter, the acting chairperson of the Comission, Justice B.K. Mishra issued notice to Chief Secretary and Police DG to submit what action was taken for safety and security of the victim, cancelling and rehabilitation within 15 days time.