Letter dated February 14, 2015 addressed by Smt. Brinda Karat, Member Polit Bureau, CPI(M) to Shri Ashok Kumar, DGP, Tamilnadu, on the investigation into rape of a hearing and speech impaired girl in Krishnagiri district, Tamilnadu.
This is being released for publication.
Shri Ashok Kumar
Dear Shri Ashok Kumar Ji,
I had met you on January 30th in connection with the gangrape of a 16 year old hearing and speech impaired girl of Krishnagiri district. I am writing to you about the same case with a sense of outrage and deep concern because the Krishnagiri police continue to sabotage the processes of justice, which became evident in the court hearing of the case on February 13. In my many years of experience of dealing with police culpability in cases of cover up in sexual assault cases, this example is the most shocking, more so since it involves a disabled girl.
You may be aware that on a plea by the victim to the High Court against the injustice being meted out to her by the police, the High Court ordered a second medical examination. On February 13, the High Court received the medical report of the girl. This vindicates what the girl has been saying about the nature of the brutal assault she suffered. It records that it could have occurred “a week or so before the examination." It thus exposes the so called first medical examination which had asserted that no penetration had taken place on the basis of which you had yourself stated that although the girl was assaulted it was not rape. Even at that time I had protested against the terms being used since the definition of penetrative sexual assault in the amended law against rape does not at all require such examination. The two finger test is abhorrent and illegal and the Supreme Court has ruled against it.
However, instead of taking action against those responsible for the concocted first medical report of the girl, the police submitted a written list of queries to the doctors who had conducted the second medical examination, a record of which has been filed in the court and made available on February 13. I would request you to personally go through it. The questions asked include “could it ..... not be due to the act of masturbation?” Then again “based on the features .. what is the time interval between the act and the examination?”
I deliberately refrain from repeating the language used in the report. These misogynist, insensitive, demeaning, irrelevant, atrocious and highly objectionable leading questions are being asked by a police force charged to ensure justice to the victim but which is acting as the defence team of the criminals trying to convert medical evidence of gangrape into a case of masturbation. This is intolerable and unacceptable.
When I had met you on January 30th about the police role in the case along with a delegation of the Tamilnadu Association of the Differently Abled and the AIDWA, you had assured us that you would personally look into the matter and see that justice is done. Regretfully lack of action against the police officials involved has emboldened them. Clearly no police officer can dare to raise such questions after a medical examination which proves rape, without the sanction of senior officers. It is the SP of the district who must be held responsible and accountable.
There are several issues involved.
In our meeting with you, I had pointed out the following: (1) I had strongly protested against the two finger test that the girl was subjected to. This was in clear violation of the 2013 Supreme Court judgement against the conduct of such tests. Now she has been subjected to the test not once but twice (2) although the girl reported the crime and got herself admitted to a Government hospital immediately, the police did not get her medically examined. The examination was conducted six days after the rape occurred after much of the evidence had been lost (3) the victim was wrongly taken to the police station and kept there for several hours (4) the victim was forcibly separated from her guardian and questioned on her own (5) the victim was taken to the place of occurrence of the crime and made to reenact the scene as though she was the criminal (6) shockingly, the traumatised girl was separated from her family and locked up in a Government home from January 31st till February 13th when the court intervened and allowed her to go home. Thus at every stage the provisions of the POCSO have been violated by the police.
Clearly, there is no standard operating procedure or protocol being observed by the Tamilnadu police in cases of sexual assault even in cases of minor girls. Surely this is the responsibility of the top officials including yourself. However in spite of my drawing your attention to the lack of such protocols no remedial action was taken.
We had demanded immediate action against the police personnel concerned as well as the doctors who had concocted the first medical report. We had demanded their prosecution under Sec 166a of the IPC.
I urge you to kindly take immediate action against the police and medical officials including the SP involved.
I shall also be taking up the matter with the Central Home Ministry regarding the lack of protocols and SOPs and the use of the demeaning illegal two finger test.
Krishnagiri Rape:Brinda Writes to TN DGP