Badaun Gang Rape and Murder of 2 Minor Girls: Apprehensions of the Family and Civil Society Organisations
Lucknow, June 26th, 2014 :The investigation of the gang rape and murder of 2 minor girls, belonging to a lower caste on the night of May 27th- 28th, 2014 in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh was transferred to the CBI, after it was found that the local police was complicit in the crime and shielding the accused persons.,.
It was hoped that the CBI would promptly and professionally investigate this heinous crime and uncover the truth. However the CBI’s decision to conduct polygraph and other scientific tests on the family of the deceased along with the accused is worrisome. Given the social and political clout and influence that the accused persons wield the family is apprehensive that due to their disadvantaged status they will not get justice. The family is aware that there are many powerful forces who want to protect the accused persons and malign and defame the character of the murdered girls.
The family has agreed to undergo these tests, for not only do they have nothing to hide but they also want the truth to be established and the perpetrators of this dastardly crime punished. The family is willing to extend all possible cooperation with an unbiased and timely investigation.
However, now the initial steps taken by the CBI investigation has caused the victim family alarm. Having said this, they are losing faith in the investigation procedure since the CBI is following the same trend as the UP police and treating them as the accused rather than the complainants. They have also voiced their apprehensions regarding these tests as they are still not aware of what to expect, how these tests will be conducted and to what objective.
Civil society groups and women’s rights groups from Uttar Pradesh standing in solidarity with the victim family, express grave concern at the manner in which the investigation by the CBI is proceeding. We regard the CBI’s decision to conduct polygraph and other tests on the victim family as an attempt to brow beat and harass the victim family and derail and drag the investigation. The decision of the CBI to seek to conduct a polygraph test on the victim family is perverse and an attempt to distort the truth. It is deplorable that we have to remind the country’s premier investigating agency, the CBI, that rape of a girl is a crime against humanity in which she is the victim and cannot be viewed with any suspicion, nor aspersions cast on her character. We demand that the Badaun investigation be supervised by a senior CBI officer of impeccable credentials and the focus of the investigation be brought back on the accused persons.
The family of the deceased belongs to a socially and economically oppressed community and hence, manipulation and coercion to divert and detract from a fair investigation and trial cannot be ruled out. This case is a test for the UP government and for CBI to establish their credibility and that women will receive their justice with dignity. Civil society will keep a vigil on this case so that the socio- economic status of the victims of sexual violence will not determine the outcome of the investigation and trial and ensure that justice is done.
On Behalf of : The family of the deceased girls and Civil society and women rights groups.
Contact : 09161454706 (Shubhangi, AALI) , 09415343437 (Apoorva, AALI), 09918000440 (Neetu, Humsafar), 09415324447 (Rajan Singh, ActionAid), 08449710679 (Shilpi, Sakar), 09936174098 (Ram Dular, NCDHR), 09412233057 (RamKumar, DAG), 0941504361 (Madhvi Kukreja, Sanatkada)