WHEN Indigenous people across the continents are commemorating the World Indugenous Day on 9 August 2015, a pregnant Bodo indigenous woman was gang raped by two armymen in Assam’s Kokrajhar district under Kachugaon police station. There is no word to describe this inhuman act of men with the boots who on the pretext of neutralising the insurgents take advantage of the situation to molest gullible women and girls. It is a repeat of the Bhumka rape incident of 1988, when Indian security forces raped 11 Bodo women in Bhumka village in Kokrajhar district.
According to the 19 year old victim, “a team of monstrous army men and a policeman, holding sophisticated weapons, came to her house around 10pm looking for her husband Nerswn Mushahary but returned after the raid to rape her. She couldn’t believe why her husband is being searched by the security forces in the dead of the night.” She wondered what crime her husband has committed. And, she had no clue why they eturned to her home a second time in a span three hours.
Two armymen, however, returned around 1.30am, forced open the door and took her to the school adjacent to her house, where they committed the heinous crime. They locked the door of the house from outside in order to prevent the family members from coming out. They were forced to stay indoors for hours.
A case has been registered at Kachugaon police station based on the woman’s complaint. As reported in the Telegraph on 11 August 2015, Kokrajhar superintendent of police Shyamal Prasad Saikia said, “A rape case was filed against the army by a lady at Kachugaon police station. An investigation will be carried out and we will act in accordance with the findings.” Such crimes have been taking place in the region for years, but no justice has been delivered yet till now. Often the culprits, mostly involving the security forces are protected by the agency of the state and army public relation officers who seemed to have developed a special art of nullifying/falsifying crimes and salvaging the bloody criminals, who otherwise should be protecting the civilians.
The woman, who is seven months pregnant, was brought to Rupnath Brahma civil hospital in Kokrajhar for medical examination. The medical report is expected by tomorrow. But it is unlikely there will be any authentic report on the matter. The army has already refuted the allegation, saying it was baseless, false, fabricated and directed towards maligning its image. “This is the handiwork of the NDFB (S),” an army statement said.
We have witnessed to such falsication of crimes by the security forces earlier as well. As they are strongly backed by the state apparatus, they have an easy hand to get away with their inhuman acts such as rape, fake encounter, among other heinuos crimes. There is no merit in the argument as the army itself admitted to carrying out operations at Karigaon and Thaisaguri area to hunt for NDFB-S militants. Sources said the area is under the command of dreaded 10 Bihar Regiment. I must say it is a well planned conspiracy of the security forces to help escape the bloody rapists. Unfortunately, instead of admitting the crime, the army has also filed an FIR at Kachugaon police station against the allegation levelled on its personnel.
Meanwhile various organisations, including the All Bodo Women’s Welfare Federation, the All Bodo Students Union (Absu) and the Bodoland Students Union condemned the incident and demanded a proper investigation and punishment for the guilty. The Absu has set a 24-hour deadline to arrest of the culprits. It has also announced a 12-hour Kokrajhar bandh on August 12 if a proper inquiry is not conducted or action is not taken against the lustrous savages. The newly from United Peoples’ Party (UPP) has demanded a judicial inquiry into the alleged incident.