Posted by: informer | February 18, 2009

Moral policing victim commits suicide in Mangalore

Bangalore: After being publicly humiliated by a Right-wing Hindu group for being in the company of a Muslim man, a 15-year-old girl committed suicide on Wednesday morning in Mulky in Dakshina Kannada, 40 km from Mangalore.Worse, keeping in tune with the recent incidents in the coastal district, the police moved to arrest the Muslim man for rape and abetment of suicide, leaving alone the alleged local Bajrang Dal activists who are believed to be the co-abettors.

Abdul Salim, 27, owner of the bus in which the girl commuted to school for over five years, was arrested by the Mangalore police on charges of rape and abetment of suicide, following a complaint filed by the girl’s father.

Salim was placed under arrest on Wednesday, following the suicide, despite the girl and her friend, who were together on Tuesday, refusing to give a statement accusing Salim of sexual exploitation when they were taken to the Moodabidri police station by a woman sub-inspector, who was summoned by the alleged Bajrang Dal activists.

A case was registered under Section 110 of the IPC for “abetment, if person abetted does act with different intention from that of abettor”. To support their case, the police also forced Salim to write an apology on Tuesday night, alleged Abdul Razack, Salim’s brother.

Outside the police station on Tuesday night, after everyone was asked to go, the girl’s father, who was also summoned, publicly thrashed her, witnesses said. The girl committed suicide at her home the following morning.“The case report registered on Tuesday has surprisingly gone missing. We have been trying to get a copy to fight Salim’s case, but have been unable to do so,” Razack said. His family said he had known the girl for a long time and was on friendly terms with her.

“Salim’s statement was recorded on Tuesday night and because no offence was disclosed, all the parties concerned were handed over to their respective parents and asked to go home,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police for Panambur division, Jayant Shetty, under whose jurisdiction the Moodabidri police station falls.

The girl and her friend had alighted along with Salim from a bus he owned on Tuesday evening, before being accosted and beaten up by the alleged Bajrang Dal activists. The bus was intercepted by other activists and the helper Rafique was also dragged to the place where the alleged Bajrang Dal men had detained the girls and Salim.

Rafique, who had described the sequence of events on Wednesday, refused to speak out of fear on Thursday. Sub-Inspector Bharathi G, who was called to take the custody of the girls by the Right-wing group, did not respond to phone calls.The friend of the deceased girl, who was a witness to the entire sequence, is reportedly in hiding.

According to the official version given by Mangalore SP N Satheesh Kumar, “The two girls were found with the boy in an isolated place, with the second girl guarding them, after local elders began a search.” He claimed that Salim had escaped after the girls were accosted by the “elders”.

The district police claimed that they were awaiting a post-mortem report and were also trying to identify the people who accosted the girls on the basis of the phone call made to Bharati G.

The family of Salim, however, identified the “elders” as Bajrang Dal activists. “We have their names — Venoor Sathish, a Sri Durga tempo driver, Praveen, Ashok, Lokesh, Ajit, Nagaraj, Bejapur Shetty and Sadanand Poojari. They are all from the Venoor area,” Razack said.

“The abetment part of the case is still under investigation. We are examining the roles of the people involved. It is too premature to say anything,” Inspector General of Police for the Western region of Karnataka A M Prasad said.

source : http://www.indianexpress.com/news/moral-policing-victim-commits-suicide-in…/422981/

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