Monday, 20 August 2018 | PNS | Dehradun — Uttarkashi remained tense on Sunday a day after a 12-year-old girl from a village in Dunda block was found to have been allegedly gang raped and murdered. As locals suspect migrant labourers from another community of being responsible for the heinous crime, the State administration kept internet services in five districts of the Garhwal region suspended to prevent the situation from escalating due to ‘rumours’. In the meanwhile, heavy police force has been deployed in Uttarkashi even as about half a dozen suspects were detained by the police for questioning. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has also expressed shock at the brutal crime, stating that such crimes have no place in Uttarakhand. He has assured the public that the strictest possible action under the law will be taken against those guilty of the crime. It is pertinent to mention here that a 12 year old girl was reportedly abducted from her home on Friday night. Her mother noticed her absence when she woke up late in the night. The body of the girl was found dumped on a bridge near the village on Saturday morning. The discovery of the brutal crime caused considerable anger among the locals with student bodies and locals taking out protest march and observing a bandh in the market. On Sunday, in the provisional State capital Dehradun, concerned citizens and activists held a demonstration and a candle march at Gandhi Park. They alleged that the Government has been very slow in forming a system that can identify such criminal elements among migrants living in the State. Even after so many incidents of rape, molestation and other crimes, the Government is yet to take effective action to prevent chances of such crimes being committed. Demanding justice for the victim the activists said that no investigation should be done by the local police rather than that the case should be given to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or Special Investigation team (SIT). The culprits should be hanged as punishment. The system for verification of the people migrating to Uttarakhand should be strengthened. Concrete steps should be taken against the officers found responsible for lapses which may have led to this crime. Expressing his thoughts, social activist Jaideep Saklani said, “I am regularly watching a campaign on Facebook in which people are asking justice for the girl, these are the people who sit in their homes and only comment. In this case, not only comments on social media but something more than that is needed. People should come together on roads and seek justice for the girl from the Government.” He further said, “The internet service in five districts has been suspended because the people in power cannot risk their positions and also are not transparent enough to give answers to the masses.” Another protester Bhaskar Chug said, “If an officer’s vehicle gets stuck in traffic, a whole police station appointed for the arrangement gets pulled up but when such cases happen where a minor is mercilessly raped and killed then nothing gets done.”


A Congress delegation headed by the Pradesh Congress Committee president Pritam Singh met the family of the girl allegedly gang-raped and murdered at a village in the Dunda block of Uttarkashi district. Expressing grief at the crime, Singh also assured the bereaved family financial and other assistance to them from the Congress party. The PCC chief programme coordinator Rajendra Shah informed that Singh reached the village to meet the victim’s family and sought all relevant information from the local administration. He also interacted with the villagers who were sitting on protest and remained there till the arrival of the District Magistrate. Terming the incident a shameful stain on the State, he demanded that the State Government should apprehend the real culprits and ensuring harsh legal action against them. This is necessary to ensure that similar crimes are not committed again in the State, he added.

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