Rosamma Thomas| TNN | Sep 18, 2017, 08:57 IST

JAIPUR: Representatives of the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) joined members of Dalit rights groups to undertake a visit to Booth Rathoran in ChohtanBarmer district, where a 30-year-old woman of Meghwal caste, a Dalit group, had committed suicide on September 12 after taking a complaint to police about gang-rape by two men on July 22.

Newspapers had earlier reported that although the woman had named the two accused -Tansingh and Lakhsingh in the FIR registered in July at the Booth Rathoran police station, no action was taken against the men. With rising impunity , the two men allegedly began to threaten the family of the rape survivor, a mother of two. Udha Ram, a local activist, told TOI that the police failed to act in time and left the poor Dalit family vulnerable to mental torture. “The woman was alone at home when the two men, whom she recognized, took turns to force themselves on her. She took a comp laint to police and named the two men (belonging to a dominant caste), but the cops were lax in following up the case.”

Unable to bear the constant threats and fearing for the safety of her family , the woman jumped into a water tank and drowned on September 12.

Advocate Tarachand Verma of HRLN said, “There is no question that the woman and her family would have been safer if the men who abused her were put behind bars. Seeing that they could get away despite the crime, the men grew in impunity and threatened the woman’s family .”

Suman Devathiya of the All India Dalit Rights Forum said, “The woman had twice approached the district superintendent of police to apprise him of the threats and seek security . Priyanka Meghwal, zila pramukh, had also approached the SP seeking protection for the family , which lives in the fields that they work on.Under the law, a Dalit rape survivor and her kin are entitled to compensation, which the family had not received. There are several such cases of Dalit and women atrocity reported from Barmer where investigation is delayed and culprits walk free. Stern action should be taken against negligent police officials. What are they paid for? Even in the case of the six-year-old raped in the school recently , police are attempting to portray it as a case of abuse by members of the family . The girl herself has reported that school cleaners assaulted her.”

Zila pramukh Priyanka Meghwal said, “I too tried to get the police to act in the matter. I accompanied her to meet senior police officers, but we were unable to bring them to arrest the accused.”

Barmer SP Gangadeep Singhla said, “The arrest order for the two men accused by the rape survivor had been issued, but the men were missing. It’s true that there are reports that the men were out and threatening the woman and her family .

An inquiry has been ordered in this matter. As for the case of the alleged rape of the six-year-old, that was not a rape case, in reality .”