Dalit Woman Gang-Raped in UP’s Jewar, 1 Arrested; Opposition Demands Action

The key accused is still absconding and special teams have been formed to nab him, police said.

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Noida: A middle-aged Dalit woman was allegedly gang-raped at gunpoint in Uttar Pradesh’s Jewar area near Noida, police officials said on Monday, as opposition parties, including the BSP and the Congress, demanded action against culprits.

One of the four accused has been arrested over the Sunday morning incident outside a village. Multiple police teams were formed and surveillance teams, along with dog squads, deployed in the probe, the officials said.

Deputy commissioner of police (women and child safety) Vrinda Shukla said, “The incident took place between 9:30 am and 10:30 am on Sunday in open fields near the village where the rape survivor often went to cut grass and the accused also went often to graze his cattle. Both are from the same village and known to each other well.”

The key accused, who is a drug-addict, dragged the woman into the fields and forced himself on her, according to the police officer, even as local officials said the woman was raped at gunpoint.

“The role of other people in the act could be ascertained after investigation. The key accused is on the run and details could be confirmed after his arrest,” she said.

DCP Shukla said the rape survivor was taken to the district hospital after the incident where her health condition was stable on Monday.

Later Monday evening, the police made the first arrest in the case. The arrested person has been identified as Devdutt alias Debu, 36, while the key accused Mahendra is still absconding and efforts are on to nab him and the two other suspects in the case, Shukla said.

Of the four accused, Mahendra is the only one identified by the rape survivor. The police have announced Rs 25,000 reward on his arrest, the officer said.

“Devdutt was an accomplice of Mahendra and his picture was shown to the woman who recognised him from the picture,” she said.

The police said an FIR was lodged under relevant sections of the law on the basis of a complaint by the woman’s husband and an investigation is underway.

BSP chief Mayawati condemned the incident, while a Congress delegation from Noida went to meet the family of the rape survivor.

“The gang-rape of a Dalit woman in Gautam Buddh Nagar is extremely sad and shameful. The BSP demands that the BJP government in UP take strong action against the accused persons, and give justice to the affected family,” Mayawati said in a tweet.

Congress leader Pankhuri Pathak, who led a party delegation to meet the Dalit woman’s family, described the incident as a “heinous crime” and alleged failure of law and order in the region.

“Jewar’s name is now heard often because of an airport being developed in the area but this incident of gang-rape gives one an idea of the law and order situation in the area, which is close to Delhi”, Pathak said.

She added the delegation met the family on instructions of the Congress high command. The family told the Congress workers that the woman had suffered serious injuries in her private parts and the police did not reach their home even one and a half hour after being alerted, Pathak said.

The women of her family and village alleged that no ambulance was available and they had to send her to hospital on their own, she said.

Congress’s district unit president Manoj Chaudhary demanded immediate arrest of all accused involved in the case and strict action against them and assured support to the family in its fight for justice.

Azad Samaj Party chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad also hit out at the Yogi Adityanath government over the incident.

“In Gautam Buddh Nagar, a Dalit woman was gang-raped at gunpoint by barbarians and casteist slurs were hurled at her. The barbarians have no fear of the law. Law and order has completely failed in UP. Dalit lives are in danger every moment and the incompetent government remains a mute spectator,” he said in a tweet.