By Ratnesh Katulkar

09 June, 2014

In a significant development in Bhagana case National Scheduled Caste Commission (NSCC) Vice Chairperson Dr Raj Kumar Verka met the victims of Bhagana at his office on 5 th June 2014. Owing to the seriousness of the matter he immediately ordered stern action against the culprits and issued an order for relief and rehabilitation of the victims.

Dr Verka first listened to the victim girls who told him about the incident of 23 March when they were abducted and raped by the five youths who then after threw them near Bhatinda railway station in a semi unconscious status; they also told the role of village Sarpanch Rakesh, who had beaten them to keep to their mouth shut on this incident.

The other women and men of Bhagana also shared their grievance and told him about the continuous social boycott since last two years.

Dr Verka after listening them sympathetically briefed the media by saying ‘it is shameful that our society observes double standards.’ Elaborating this point Vice Chairperson said it is strange that not only civil societies, media, human rights organizations but whole nation came out in support of one Nirbhaya but in case of continuous atrocities on Dalit women there is hardly any voice of support.

On the question of Delhi police action of forcing the Bhagana protestors at Jantar Mantar to evacuate the place, Dr Verka said that such action is undemocratic thus intolerable. He assured the protestors that he will personally take care that such an action will not be repeated.

Deputy Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes further briefed the media that in order to a step towards justice he will take following action:

•  Name of the Sarpanch will be included in the FIR .

•  Each of the victim girls will get an amount of Rs 20 lakh as compensation.

•  The family of the victims will be provided a flat at district headquarter.

•  Government will take responsibility of providing free education and permanent government jobs to the victim girls after completion of their 18 years.

Replying to media query on the stipulated time frame of getting the above action done Dr Verka said that he will get all these action implemented within a period of 15 days.

Bhagana victims, activists, students groups and all the individual supporters present in the office welcomed this move.

Ratnesh Katulkar currently works at Indian Social Institute (ISI) as a Researcher in the Department of Dalit Studies. Email: [email protected]