The shocking case of two dalit girls allegedly ordered to be raped by a ‘Khap’ panchayat or kangaroo court of Bhagpat in Uttar Pradesh after their brother eloped with a higher caste Jat girl, took a new twist today with the Supreme Court summoning top police officials of the district and asking them to appear in the court tomorrow.
The cops have also been asked to bring along with them the brother of the girls who is now in custody after he was arrested in a drug possession case under NDPS Act.
During an in-chamber proceeding, a bench comprising of justices J Chelameswar and Abhay Manohar Sapre, which condemned the “ruthless khaps” spoke to the family members of the Dalit family, two sisters of which were ordered to be raped by the Khap panchayat for a ‘crime’ their brother committed by eloping with a higher caste girl.
The family accused the local police of colluding with members of the Khap and targeting them. They have since left the village and have been staying in New Delhi.
The bench also granted protection to the girls and their family.
However, the village is in denial and refuses to believe that such a diktat was ever passed.
The girls in their petition before the apex court said that the state police, instead of protecting her, are harassing her family members and sought a CBI probe in the incident.They said constant harassment meted out to her and family members by police and the upper-caste community members made them flee the village fearing for their lives.
“She and her family cannot return back to her village and have been rendered homeless. She has been condemned by the Khap Panchayat to be raped and paraded naked because her brother Ravi fell in love and eloped with her friend Krishna who belongs to the dominant caste of Jat,” the petition said.
According to the petition, her brother and the woman from Jat community were in love but the girl was forcibly married off to a Jat boy. A month after the marriage, the girl eloped with his brother but they had to return due to the pressure from the girl’s family and the UP police.
She said that her brother was then implicated in a false narcotics case and arrested. He was later granted bail by a local court. “The said elopement invited the wrath of the Jat community and UP Police and as a retaliatory measure her family members were abducted and tortured by police. Her family had to flee their village and her home looted and possessed by the Jats,” the petition said.