Human rights group condemns gang rapes by security forces, victims to visit President of India

In a press release by Borosa Foundation for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights, the organization has strongly condemned the continued gang rapes to the Boro indigenous women by security forces and has resolved to wait only till 25th of September 2011 for appropriate action to be taken by Kokrajhar district civil administration and BTC authority as the guardian of the district and the council.  It was resolved that if the authorities fails to take an action by this date, they will move to President of India along with the victims of the Gang Rapes in the district for seeking justice against the perpetrators of the heinous crimes in the districts.

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The press release signed jointly by Jebra Ram Muchahary (President), Avantika Haflongbar (General Secretary) and Andrios Narzary (Treasurer) of Borosa Foundation for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights reported the complete incident future steps planned by the organization stated as below:

After having information of a gang rape incident, a delegation team of Borosa Foundation for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights, New Delhi has visited no 1, Sonapur village under Bismuri Police outpost in Kokrajhar district on 16th of September to investigate the alleged report of gang rape of a deaf and dumb Boro Indigenous woman in the fateful night of 10th September 2011 by a 12 member group of suspected SSB Jawans.

The visiting team of BFPDHR met the in-charge of Bismuri Police outpost at 11 am in the morning to have preliminary information on the gang rape case. As per information gathered from the Bismuri Police outpost, the visiting team learnt that a case was registered with the outpost vide memo number: Kokrajhar Police station 2011/ 372 (g) IPC in regards to a gang rape of Deobari Basumatary (35) wife of Amal Basumatary of village No.1 Sonapur under Bismuri Police outpost.  The visiting team then made a straight journey to Sonapur which is approximately 37 KMs away towards north from Bismuri and located at the foothills of Bhutan to meet the victims and the witnesses for on spot investigation.  

The team met the victims, witnesses and the villagers and investigated the matter.  The visiting team was told that the gang raped was perpetrated by a group of 12 suspected SSB Jawans deployed along the Indo-Bhutan border in the Kokrajhar district in the night of 10th September 2011.

According to Amal Basumatary, the husband of the victim, a group of 12 SSB Jawans had forcefully entered his hut located near by a link road but isolated from his neighbors around 11.30 pm. The perpetrators first kicked them to awake up the couples and asked him to accept a bottle of wine from them which he flatly refused. Then they asked him to take out all the household metallic tools like sickles, knives, axe and spade and asked him to put behind the kitchen hut. Then they forcefully made his wife naked and gang raped her in front of him inside the hut. Amal tried his best to protect his wife from them but he was brutally kicked, beaten up and forced to flee from the hut. 

According to Amal, meanwhile, he managed to reach Balen Basumatary’s hut whose hut is located at No2. Sonapur village in the neighborhood 300 meters away from his hut and alerted him about the incident who immediately came for his wife’s help with a torch light. On the way to Amal’s hut from Balen’s hut, Amal and Balen both saw the SSB Jawans in full uniform moving towards their main camp along the Indo-Bhutan link road located near the Indo-Bhutan boarder. Sensing the fate of Deobari, both Amal and Balen rushed towards Amal’s hut and on the way they discovered Deobari in a critical condition somehow struggling to move towards home fully naked and scar marks with several injuries in her body including private parts. Amal and Balen brought her home, nursed her traditionally and informed the villagers including village headman next early morning about the incident.

On 11th September, the villagers took the victims along with the village headman to report the matter to the in-charge of the Bismuri Police outpost which is about 37 KM from the victims’ village with the help of volunteers/members and leaders of All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), All Bodo Women Welfare Federation (ABWWF), Boro Somaj and many other social workers of the Boro Indigenous Peoples of Kokrajhar and filed an FIR about the incident.

According to Deobari and interpretation of her husband, after first phase of gang rape, the perpetrators forcefully dragged her to a nearby place about a quarter a mile beside a link road leading to Bhutan from Saralpara and repeatedly gang raped her in two different spots. According to the victim and interpretation of her husband, the mode of gang rape was so much so ugly and inhuman that she was forced to suck and double penetrated repeatedly by the perpetrators who was finally left half death on the 3rd spot of the incident.

According to Amal, the husband of the victim, the perpetrators also forcefully dragged out Sombari Basumatary, her wife’s elder sister from her hut located in the same courtyard with the same intention but she somehow managed to free herself from them and fled to hide in the nearby bush.    

According to one of the witnesses of the reported case Mr. Niren Sompramhary, a villager of the same village and a neighbor told to the visiting team that he and his family members have heard of a screaming aloud of the victims but initially ignored the matter thinking that the couple might be engaged in some arguments leading to habitual family scuffle between them.

The visiting team was informed by the villagers that sensing trouble about the foot print left by the perpetrators during commitment of the heinous crime, two SSB Jawans came on a motor cycle to Amal’s hut and disfigured the foot prints left by them on the next morning of 11thSeptember at around 10 am which was witnessed by Phuleswar Basumatary (42) of the village.   

The local electronic media and newspapers have published the incidents widely on 12th of September. Some electronic media have broadcasted the incident with full report and video footage of some evidences of relevant foot prints left by the perpetrators.

The visiting team was informed that a huge public protest rally was held on 15th of September in front of the SSB Camp at Saralpara jointly organized by All Bodo Women Welfare Federation (ABWWF), Boro Women Justice Forum (BWJF) and All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) and submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner of Kokrajhar demanding immediate arrest of the culprits involved in the gang rape and to provide an appropriate compensation to the victims.

The visiting team was also informed that a government doctor who was given responsibility for medical examination of the rape victim was not cooperative and unfriendly towards the victim and the party taking up the case.

After having preliminary investigation, we strongly felt that despite having a local self-government of Bodoland Territorial Council with effect from 10th of February 2003 for protection and promotion of the rights of the Boros and for development of the Boro Indigenous Peoples in the Boro dominated areas of Assam and Kokrajhar district being the administrative head office of BTC, unfortunately this is not the first heinous crime of gang rape of Boro Indigenous women in Kokrajhar district. Five elderly Boro Indigenous women had been gang raped by security personnel on the fateful night of December 31, 2003 at Ultapani where another woman had also been raped in a Shiva temple.

Recently on 20th April night 2011, one Manek Goyary (38) wife of Ratneswar Goyary of village Tharaibari of Choraikola was also reportedly gang raped by six 15 Dogra regiment stationed at Adabri for maintaining law and order in the district. An FIR (119/11) was lodged at Kokrajhar PS in this matter for justice and a complaint was sent to NHRC by fax for necessary action. However, no action has been taken against the culprits as yet.

We strongly feel that these incidents have exposed an ugly anti-people attitude of some rowdy and indiscipline Jawans involved in the crimes who are otherwise deployed to help in protecting lives and properties of the innocent people and maintain law and order in the trouble torn region. 

We also strongly feel that these recurring incidents of gang rape are nothing but a deliberate exercise to blow an insult to the unparalleled traditionally maintained rich modesty of Boro women in a typical allegetarian Boro society.  It is not only an insult to the Boro women but also a deliberate evil design to malign and damage the self-respect of the customarily maintained Boro Society as whole and clear cases of Human Rights violation.

We also feel that because of total lack of appropriate actions by the concerned district and council administrations, the crimes have been repeated again and again in the district without any check since the culprits of the previous heinous crimes of gang rapes were let loose scot free without any punishment causing serious threat to peace and security of the common people, particularly the Boro Indigenous women who have become the common easy targets of few sex starved security forces deployed for maintaining low and order and to maintain peace in the region.    

Considering the seriousness of the continued heinous crimes and their  adverse impact in the minds of the common people in the district , and considering the safety and security of the general public, we have strongly resolved to take up the case with National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi for their intervention  and put a complaint with them which is registered vide diary no 138726  and 139009 for appropriate action and  also resolved to demand concerned district and council authorities to take stringent action against the rowdy Jawans involved in the crimes mentioned above and help the victims to get justice and thereby help in re-building a lost confidence of the common people on the security forces deployed for low and order in the district .

The organization also resolved to wait till 25th of September 2011 for appropriate action to be taken by Kokrajhar district civil administration and BTC authority as the guardian of the district and the council failing to which they will move to President of India along with the victims of the Gang Rapes in the district for seeking justice against the perpetrators of the heinous crimes in the districts.”

Mentionable that the people of North East India have often witnessed human rights violations including rapes by personnel of armed and security forces of the country.  Most of such cases have not seen any justice to the victims and the guilty or accused remained unpunished

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