[Via Ratnesh Kumar]
In a significant development in the Bhagana case National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Vice Chairperson Dr Raj Kumar Verka met the victims of Bhagana at his office on 5th June 2014. Owing to the seriousness of the matter he immediately ordered stern action against the culprits and issued an order for relief and rehabilitation of the victims.
Dr Verka first listened to the victim girls who told him about the incident of 23 March when they were abducted and raped by the five youths who then threw them near the Bhatinda railway station in a semi-unconscious state. They also told him about the role of village Sarpanch Rakesh Kumar Panghal, who had beaten them to keep their mouths shut on the incident.
The other women and men of Bhagana also shared their grievances and told him about the continuous social boycott since the last two years.
Dr Verka, after listening to them sympathetically, briefed the media saying ‘it is shameful that our society observes double standards.’ Elaborating this point Vice Chairperson said it is strange that not only civil society, media and human rights organizations but the whole nation came out in support of one Nirbhaya but in case of continuous atrocities on Dalit women there is hardly any voice of support.
On the question of Delhi police action of forcing the Bhagana protestors at Jantar Mantar to evacuate the place, Dr Verka said that such action is undemocratic and thus intolerable. He assured the protestors that he will personally take care that such an action will not be repeated.
Deputy Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes further briefed the media that in order to a step towards justice he will take following action:
1. Name of the Sarpanch will be included in the FIR.
2. Each of the victim girls will get an amount of Rs 20 lakh as compensation.
3. The family of the victims will be provided a flat at district headquarters.
4. Government will take responsibility of providing free education and permanent government jobs to the victim girls after completion of their 18 years.
Replying to a media query on the stipulated time frame for getting the above actions done Dr Verka said that he will get all these actions implemented within a period of 15 days.
Bhagana victims, activists, students groups and all the individual supporters present in the office welcomed this move.
Please also read other articles on the issue:
Bhagana outrage: On the dire need for a collective struggle: Jyotsna Siddharth
Bhagana-Haryana Rape Victims warn Hooda against inaction: by Ravi Nitesh