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Dhanni Deeh Mass Rape
Victims record statements
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Bhinga, July 15
The testimonies of the wronged women of Dhanni Deeh village made it clear beyond doubt that they were disrobed, beaten up, paraded naked in the village and faced ‘beizzati’— a term which for lack of proper vocabulary they could not further describe.

By late Sunday afternoon some 17 women from the village had given their statements to Commissioner Devipatan Division Ashok Kumar, who is conducting an official inquiry into the July 10 incident. After taking their statements the women were asked to put their thumb impression on the paper.

Packed in a tractor-trailer and jeep some three dozen village women, were brought to the district headquarters at Bhinga, some 25 km away, by the newly appointed SO of Sirsiya police station, R.K Gautam, this morning.

The women said a mob attacked the village on the morning of July 10, three days after Salim, a young man from the village, eloped with Vandana, daughter of the former Pradhan from the neighbouring Dharmantapur village.

The women, in their testimonies, charged the attacking men of ransacking their houses, pulling them out of the village, tearing off their clothes, dragging them to the neighbouring sugarcane fields and peepal tree ground where they say they were sexually assaulted.

They showed cuts and bruises to corroborate their charges. Sitting in the corridor of the DM’s office Samina (name changed) displayed a bruise on her thigh. Fahmida lifts her kurta to show a bruise on her back. Both of them said the men had raped them.

The identity of the men and their motive is a matter of investigation. However, what is amply clear is that the FIR registered at Sisiya police station on July 12, two days after the incident, under the pressure of local Congress leader Aslam Raini does not include Section 376 pertaining to rape. The FIR (no 316/07) against 100-150 unknown persons is under Sections 147, 323, 504, 506, 427 of the IPC. Ten men, including Vandana’s father, have already been arrested.

Strangely enough even without lodging an FIR of rape 17 of these women were sent for medical examination to the Bhinga Community Health Centre on July 13, three days after their reported mass rape.

According to Dr Rabia Sultan who conducted the medical examination prima facie rape could not be established as according to her none of the 17 women presented before her had any visible perineum injury. Not did their cervical smears reveal any semen.

She said all women she had examined were between 20 and 70 years. Conceding that the medical examination that she had conducted did not take into account the clothes worn by the women at the time of the crime, she said it was the duty of the police to hand over the clothes.

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