The Muzaffarnagar police Sunday registered another three FIRs in alleged gangrape cases in Fugana village, which witnessed communal violence on September 8. The number of such FIRs now stands at five.
The police also registered an FIR in a second molestation case.
The Indian Express has copies of all the FIRs.
While the first three alleged rape victims are aged 30-40, the new complaints are in the 19-25 age group.
Sources said the staff at the Fugana police station had converted 177 of the 227 complaints received so far into FIRs.
“More complaints are coming from different (police) stations, we can’t discount more rapes,” said a senior police officer.
The elders in Fugana, a village worst affected by the Muzaffarnagar riots, however, questioned legitimacy of the FIRs.
“The incident (violence) took place on the 8th of this month. Why are we hearing about it now? The matter has been hijacked by communal leaders who are inciting these people, who till a few days ago were our friends. The FIRs contain names of people who haven’t lived in the village for months. These families are doing this to get compensation from the government,” said Tham Singh, village head.
Sunday morning, alleged victims of rape started gathering at the circuit office in Budhana waiting for their turn to lodge complaints.
The first two alleged victims, whose husbands had lodged complaints on their behalf, also came to the police station and met the circuit officer.
Sources said the office of Muzaffarnagar Superintendent of Police (SP) had issued instructions to expedite registration of FIRs in cases of rape and molestation. The police have drawn flak for registering the first FIR on Saturday when the complaint were lodged on September 20. The sources said all five women who have claimed gangrape and named the accused had been called to the district hospital in Muzaffarnagar Monday for medical examination.
A 19-year-old alleged rape victim told The Indian Express soon after lodging complaint at the Budhana police station that the first two complaints gave her courage to come forward.
“I was scared, it is a matter of unimaginable shame. I married barely a year ago. I was scared my husband would leave me if I spoke up. It was hurting terribly in the first few days after the incident. I saw a government doctor who visited our camp but did not tell her what had happened. I just said I hurt myself, even though she asked me again and again,” she said.
One of the first complainants said she was scared the men she had named might hurt her but she was glad more women had spoken about what they went through.
Kalpana Saxena, SP (crime), Muzaffarnagar, confirmed sections pertaining to gangrape had been added to the first FIRs.
“The first step will be to conduct medical examination of the complainants. Collecting evidence will be difficult because of the time lapse since the crimes were committed,” said a senior police officer.
Saxena said the Muzaffarnagar police were receiving a number of complaints, including from the neighboring Shamli district.
AK Rai, senior superintendent of police, Shamli, however, denied receiving rape complaints from relief camps in the district.