dowry accused dalit mother in law was raped in jail !!
///////Acting on a dowry harassment complaint filed by the woman's daughter-in-law, the Amla police arrested Janaki Bai along with her husband and one of their two sons under section 498A of the IPC on June 1. ///////
Forty-six years old Janaki Bai, a Dalit woman from Jamwada village in Betul district of southern Madhya Pradesh, was under the gaze of the Amla police because they suspected her involvement in her son's illicit liquor racket, who had been detailed by the cops on occasions in the past. On the intervening night of June 1 and 2, 2009, the cops decided to dish out rough and ready justice in its most gruesome form.
Acting on a dowry harassment complaint filed by the woman's daughter-in-law, the Amla police arrested Janaki Bai along with her husband and one of their two sons under section 498A of the IPC on June 1. Her other son 25 years old Kailash Bamne, who is the husband of the complainant woman in the dowry case, was lodged in jail following the complaint and released on bail earlier. After the Multai judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) denied Janaki Bai, her husband and the other son bail and remanded them to judicial custody, the police sent the men away to Multai jail but detained her in the Amla police station overnight on the grounds that the Multai facility didn't have separate lodging for women.
The police had no authority to take a suspect to the police station once she was remanded to judicial custody. She should have been taken to women's cell at Betul jail which is just 50 km from Multai and where incoming prisoners are accepted till late evening as it is under legal obligation to receive them. In the extreme case if she had she been denied entry by Betul Jail, she could have been kept with women police at Betul.
But the cops were bent upon teaching her a lesson. Four policemen took turns to rape her overnight in the police lock-up at Amla police station. Shamim Modi of Samajwadi Jan Parishad says, "Their intent was to teach her a lesson in a most dehumanising manner possible for a woman."
Janaki Bai swore that the dowry-harassment case against her family was bogus. Actually, her son Kailash had caught head constable at Amla police station, N.K. Mishra, with his wife Kavita Bamne in a compromising position and was going to blow up the matter.
The next day after her night of horror at the police station, she was taken to Betul jail on June 2 where she narrated the incident to the authorities. As the jail officials informed the district SP, the cover-up began almost immediately. The woman's medical examination was done at the jail itself on June 3, not Betul's district hospital, that too a full day after she had alleged rape.
A day's delay in MLC examination could have an immense bearing on the eventual outcome of the case. Yet, throughout the day on June 2, police tried to persuade her to take back her complaint. A member of visiting State Women's Right Commission, Kamala Wdiwa, who happens to be doctor by profession, also examined Janki Bai at jail and confirmed that she had been subjected to physical assault and rape.
Though, the Betul police registered a case under section 376 of IPC and sections 2, 3 and 5 of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, against N.K. Mishra and three other unknown policemen on June 4, no arrest was made. Janaki Bai and her husband and other son were released on bail on June 5. The government merely transferred the head constable and Station House Officer (SHO) Anil Kumar Thakur to other police stations. Only when the outcry against the kid-glove treatment against cops reached a crescendo were Mishra and constable Satish Choure dismissed from service and charged with rape and violation of SC/ST Act. Choure is still absconding while Mishra was released on bail. SHO, Anil Kumar Thakur was charged under section 212 for harbouring an offender and 201 of the IPC. Besides head constable Satyaprakash Vajpayee and constables Keshavrao Vagdre, Ashok Sankar, Arjun Singh were charged under section 120 and 201 of the IPC for concealing evidence. All were arrested, released on bail and suspended.
However, some rights groups later filed a petition in the Jabalpur High Court against the lighter sections slapped against SHO Anil Kumar Thakur under section 212 (harbouring offenders). On December 23, a division bench of Chief Justice S.R. Alam and Justice R.S. Garg directed Betul police to take action against Singh in accordance with the report of the judicial inquiry conducted Betul judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) into the entire episode. The Betul police have now moved a request in the Betul court where a charge-sheet has already been filed, to add charge of rape under section 376 of the IPC against the SHO.