New Delhi – A group of rights activists, academicians, journalists and advocates Friday appealed to the President of India Pranab Mukherjee demanding revocation of the President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service awarded to SRP Kalluri, Inspector General of Police Chhattisgarh, accusing him of raping a tribal woman.
According to the activists Kalluri raped a tribal woman Ledha Bai when he was the Superintendent of Police at Sarguja District, ordered his sub-ordinates to gang-rape her and then terrorized her and her lawyer when she decided to file a complaint against him.
Referring to last year’s President’s Gallantry medal to another cop Ankit Garg, activists said that it appears that sexual violence against women by the police is well tolerated, and even decorated, by the government. Rights’ defenders have accused Garg of sexually assaulting a tribal woman in his custody, Soni Sori.
Ledha Bai Under advice from the police convinced her husband Ramesh Nagesia, a member of the CPI(Maoist) to surrender himself to the police. “But, the police team, lead by the then-SP of Sarguja, Mr. SRP Kalluri, went to the pre-assigned meeting place and shot the unarmed Ramesh Nagesia dead, in front of his wife Ledha. Ledha was allowed to live, but with the caveat that she would not tell anyone about this episode.” said activists.
However, a few days later, Ledha, her 2 year old child and her parents were rounded up and taken to the police station. There, Ledha was stripped and raped by Kalluri, and green chillies were inserted into her vagina in front of her parents and daughter. Under orders from Kalluri, SPO Dhiraj Jaiswal and others gang-raped her in police custody for about 10 days, alleged the statement released by the activists.
More than fifty individuals including noted activists like Shabnam Hashmi, Nandini Sundar, Himanshu Kumar, Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Manisha Sethi, Ram Punyani, Kavita Srivastava and Iftikhar Gilani, signed the petition.
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