ALL INDIA DEMOCRATIC WOMENS ASSOCIATION (AIDWA)
NO. 2253- E , SHADI KHAMPUR, NEW RANJIT NAGAR,
PH: 011-25700476, 25709565
For favour of publication, 9th August, 2014.
The AIDWA strongly condemns the blatant lies and half-truths being spread by the BJP and Sangh Parivar about the case registered by a young woman in Meerut alleging gang-rape and conversion. They are exploiting her distress to create communal conflict and hatred. An AIDWA delegation comprising of Subhashini Ali (Vice-President) Reeja Jayaprasad and Akhila Singh (CEC members) visited the young woman on August 8 and also met the family members who were with her at the hospital.
At the outset the delegation expresses its solidarity with the young woman who has been victimized at various levels. She is now in hospital in an extremely weak state. The delegation met her and assured her of their support. It demands that the Government take care of her medical requirements and ensure her rehabilitation.
The delegation confirmed the following from the discussions it had with the hospital owner, a lady doctor, and with the relatives of the girl who are with her there:
The girl is the eldest child of a very poor family. This led her to seek employment and she got a job as a Hindi teacher in a Madarsa near her home in July, 2013. She left her job in February 2014 because she wanted to prepare and sit for her final B.A.examination. There was no complaint of any kind of harassment made by her during her period of teaching at the Madarsa.
On July 23 she went missing and returned only on July 27. This was not reported to the police by her family. Her family members and the lady doctor confirmed to the delegation that the girl underwent a gyynaecological surgical procedure during this time. This has been officially confirmed by the Govt. Dist. Medical College Hospital, Meerut records. After she returned home, no report was filed with the police either by her or her family.
Two days later, on July 29, she went missing again at night and, the next day, her family filed a missing person report. There was no mention of any abduction. The girl returned on August 3rd. It was then that she made the statement that she had been gangraped on July 23 as well as after July 29. It was also at this stage that the issue of “forced conversion” was raised. An affidavit, a copy of which was given to the delegation by the girl’s family, states that she converted to Islam “out of her own free will.” The affidavit is dated July 30th, that is a day after she went missing. The affidavit was given by her to her family. The girl and her family claim that her signature on the affidavit was forged.
The delegation found that there are many issues which remain unexplained. While the word of the victim must get precedence and form the basis for the inquiry, given the circumstances of the case being used for highly motivated communal propaganda, it is incumbent on the Government and the police to complete the investigations speedily so that the truth is revealed. There is every possibility that the young woman is being used as a pawn by the communal forces who are utterly insensitive and uncaring about her condition.
While most of those named in the girl’s statements, including two women and their daughters, have been arrested, all those who are still at large must be arrested immediately. AIDWA feels that the speedy completion of the enquiry will ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice and that those who are guilty are punished.
In the context of the way in which this case is being exploited to incite communal violence, AIDWA welcomes the observation made yesterday by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, which included the Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, after hearing a writ petition filed by NGO Jayati Bharatam seeking a SIT probe into incidents of conversion of Hindu girls into Muslims. The Chief Justice said “this is a secular state…We are also concerned with the matter and you are also saying it is serious. But the colour which you are giving is also concerning us. We are concerned with the law point. You should not do anything or do anything by word of mouth which disturbs peace. We are a secular state and everything should be done that protects the secular fabric. Nobody should do things to disturb the secular fabric.”
Subhashini Ali Reeja Jayaprashad Akhila Singh