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PM, Your Silence is Unacceptable: Rahul Gandhi on Rewari Gang Rape

The young woman was allegedly abducted and gang-raped after being drugged on 12 September.

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4 min read

Video Producer: Debayan Dutta
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bharadwaj

Six days after the Rewari gang-rape, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, on 18 September, questioned the prime minister’s silence on the case and wrote on Twitter, “Shame on a government that leaves India’s women unprotected and afraid and allows rapists to walk free.”

On Sunday, 16 September, the police arrested one of the three main accused in the case. Nishu, a local wrestler, had planned the incident in advance, according to SIT chief Nazneen Bhasin.

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE ACCUSED

  • One of the three main accused, Nishu, a local, wrestler have been nabbed on Sunday, 16 September.
  • Two other main accused, Pankaj, an Army man, and college student Manish, are still absconding.
  • The eight-member SIT team has also arrested two others to help probe the case – Deendayal, who belongs to the survivor’s village and is the owner of the tubewell where the incident took place in Mahendragarh district, and Sanjeev, a doctor who gave first-aid to the survivor after the gang rape but did not inform the police of the crime claiming that he was threatened by the accused.
  • Nishu, Deendayal and Sanjeev have been sent to a five-day police remand , ANI reported on 17 September.
  • Police said Deendayal had given the three main accused the key to the room where the incident happened.
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HOW ARE THE POLICE INVESTIGATING?

  • Embarrassed over the failure to arrest all those involved in the crime, the Haryana government on Sunday, 16 September, ordered the transfer of Rewari's Superintendent of Police (SP) Rajesh Duggal and replaced him with Rahul Sharma.
  • The Haryana Police has faced flak for treating the incident casually, initially by citing jurisdiction issues, losing crucial time and evidence to nab the accused.
  • The police are conducting raids in Rajasthan, Delhi and other states to nab the main culprits.
  • The survivor’s family has been given police protection, SIT chief Nazneen Bhasin said on Sunday, 16 September.
  • The police were questioning relatives, friends and fellow villagers of the accused to know their whereabouts. Nearly 100 people have been questioned.
  • The police told the media in Rewari that the rape of the young woman had been confirmed in the medical examination.
  • The police and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar have announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh to help nab the two accused who are absconding.
  • CM Khattar also appealed to the public to not harbour the absconding accused and said strict legal action will be taken against those who do.
  • A 'mahapanchayat' comprising 25 villages also decided that no one should come out to help any of the accused. The mahapanchayat has also written to Haryana Governor seeking strict action against accused.
Three  main accused in the Rewari Gang rape case. Nishu (centre) has been arrested.
Three main accused in the Rewari Gang rape case. Nishu (centre) has been arrested.
(Photo: The Quint)

WHAT THE SURVIVOR’S FAMILY SAYS

Meanwhile, on 16 September, the family of the survivor resolved to return the compensation cheque worth Rs 2 lakh offered to them by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mahendragarh the previous day.

Is this the value that the Haryana government has calculated for the gruesome crime committed on my daughter? We reject the compensation offered. We want justice for our daughter. It has now been five days and none of the accused have been arrested till now.
Mother of the survivor

Rewari Deputy Commissioner, Ashok Kumar Sharma told ANI on 17 September that the police, on request of the survivor’s family, is arranging for a special cabin outside their home. The family had requested the police to not allow anyone to meet them without permission.

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WHAT THE ARMY SAYS

Speaking on the matter, the Lt Gen Cherish Mathson, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief South Western Command, told ANI that the army would help in arresting the defence personnel involved in the case.

“If an army personnel is involved in the crime, we will facilitate that the person is caught and booked for rape. We do not shelter criminals.”
Lt Gen Cherish Mathson, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief South Western Command to ANI.

BACKGROUND

The accused, who belonged to the same village as the survivor and knew her, allegedly kidnapped the survivor from Kanina bus stand while she was on the way to her coaching classes.

She said they gave her water to drink which was laced with a sedative. They then took turns raping her in a room adjoining agricultural fields till she fell unconscious. They later dumped her at a bus stop near the village.

One accused, Manish, even called up the survivor’s father and told him to pick her from the bus stand.

The survivor, a second year student in a college, had strong academic records.

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POLITICAL BLAME GAME

Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda sought Khattar’s resignation.

AAP national convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also attacked the Haryana government alleging that it showed an “insensitive attitude” in handling the case.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh also took cognisance of the matter and said, “I have spoken to Haryana CM who has assured me of taking appropriate action in the case.”

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