Name Revealed : NCW to act against BJP Malviya, for revealing Hathra rape victim identity
- India Vahini News / A S DSilva
Updated : 4-10-2020
The National Commission for Women (NCW) said it will take action BJP's IT Cell chief Amit Malviya, actor Swara Bhaskar and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, among others for revealing the identity of the rape victim from Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras. The 19-year-old Dalit woman was raped on September 14 when was she out in the fields to fetch some firewood, and later succumbed to her injuries at a hospital in Delhi on September 29.
NCW chief Rekha Sharma said that notices will be sent to those who shared the identity of the rape victim on social media and during protests at Jantar Mantas, once the rape charges are proven. The UP police have currently ruled out rape in the case, citing the absence of sperm in the samples collected as proof by the Forensic Science Lab.
Stating that Amit Malviya, Digvijaya Singh, Swara Bhaskar and many others have revealed the identity of the Hathras victim on social media and others at Jantar Mantar, Rekha Sharma also added that the report is not clear on rape and that the court has also taken suo motu cognizance. "Once it is clear, NCW will give notice to everyone. I have details of each and every person putting pictures on social media or on posters," she said.
Under section 228A of the Indian Penal Code, “whoever prints or publishes the name or any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom an offence under section 376 (rape), section 376A (rape leading to death or making victim go into a permanent vegetative state), section 376B (sexual intercourse by husband upon his wife during separation), section 376C (sexual intercourse by person in authority) or section 376D (gang rape) is alleged or found to have been committed, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.”
On the evening of October 2, Amit Malviya had tweeted a video of the alleged victim (without blurring the face). In the video, the woman, lying on a floor mat, can be heard saying that she had been strangled as she resisted her perpetrators.
"Haathras victim's interaction with a reporter outside AMU where she claimed there was an attempt to strangulate her neck. None of it is to take away from the atrocity of the crime but unfair to colour it and demean the gravity of one heinous crime against another," Malviya tweeted.
The 48-second video was fodder enough for many to demand action against the BJP leader for allegedly violating laws that preserve the identity of sexual assault victims.
The NCW Chairperson told The Indian Express that the incident of tweeting the video is really very unfortunate and absolutely illegal if the woman is a rape victim.
With demand for action against Malviya, the NCW clarified that whenever it does take action against him, others like Swara Bhaskar and Digvijaya Singh, too, will face consequences.
Ironically, on Thursday, Shivraj Singh Dabi, the co-ordinator of BJP IT cell in Madhya Pradesh, had lodged a complaint with the Gwalior police, stating that Digvijaya Singh revealed the identity of the rape victims woman on social media. He said in his complaint that the former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh posted the victim’s picture on October 1 from his personal Twitter handle.
Actor Swara Bhasker had joined hundreds of protesters at the Jantar Mantar to protest over the Hathras rape case. She allegedly mentioned the name of the victim at the protest.
The 19-year-old woman died on September 29 at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital after having suffered fractures, partial paralysis and a spinal injury following the savage assault. The UP police, in a tearing hurry, cremated the body of the woman in the dead of night of September 30, keeping the family members away.
A day later, Prashant Kumar, additional director general (law and order) of Uttar Pradesh police, said that forensic science laboratory report showed no signs of rape or gang rape due to the absence of semen. However, her samples were examined only on September 25, which is 11 days after the incident.