New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Saturday sent a notice to the Chhattisgarh government over the alleged rape, sexual and physical assault of 16 women by state police personnel, and observed the government is “vicariously liable” for it.
The commission also said that it is awaiting the recorded statement of about “20 other victims”.
“The NHRC has found 16 women, prima facie, victims of rape, sexual and physical assault by the state police personnel in Chhattisgarh,” it said.
The commission has issued the notice to the “government through its Chief Secretary, to show cause why it should not recommend interim monetary relief of Rs 37 lakh to them.
“This includes, Rs 3 lakh each to eight victims of rape, Rs 2 lakh each to six victims of sexual assault and Rs 50,000 each to two victims of physical assault.”
The NHRC is of the view that prima-facie, the victims’ human rights have been “grossly violated” by the security personnel for which the Chattisgarh government is “vicariously liable”.
It also found that the grave allegations of “physical as well as rape/sexual assault committed by the security personnel of the government of Chhattisgarh, made in the FIRs were reiterated before the NHRC team, which conducted a spot investigation before the magistrate.”
The commission said that after careful consideration of the material on record, it found that there are in “total 34 victims mentioned in police complaints.”
“The material includes copies of statement of victims recorded by the NHRC team as well as those recorded u/s 164 CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) in case FIR No. 22/15, FIR No. 2/16 and FIR No. 3/16 in respect of 15 victims, sent by the IGP, Police Headquarters, Raipur vide letter dated November 12, 2016,” the NHRC said in the statement.
The commission has also noted that the NHRC team “could record the statements of only 14 victims out of the 34 victims mentioned in the FIRs. Thus, statements of 20 victims are yet to be recorded by it.”
“The statements u/s 164 CrPC have been recorded by the magistrate only in respect of 15 victims. Thus, statements of 19 more victims are yet to be recorded.”
“Almost all the victims in these incidents, covered under the three FIRs, are tribals. However, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has not been invoked in any of the cases. As a result of this, the due monetary relief under the SC/ST (PoA) Act has not been paid to the victims,” it added.