As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, it is important for us to learn how women empowerment, especially through matrimonial laws in India, are only meant for the wives. Mothers and sisters of husbands are often arrested on mere word of the woman.
We bring to you a case from the year 2016, where Jharkhand police tied a 23-year-old girl with a rope around her waist after arresting her in an alleged dowry harassment matter.
The entire incident of the girl being tied-up by her waist and escorted by the Jharkhand cops, including a woman constable, was witnessed by the residents and the same was captured by local media.
The girl was kept tied at the Railway police station in Alwar and later taken to Jharkhand in a train in the same manner.
According to the Alwar police, a police team from the Garhwa district of Jharkhand had come to arrest Aparna, a resident of Bank Colony as she was an accused in a dowry harassment case filed by her sister-in law, who resides in Garhwa. An Alwar police official on the condition of anonymity told media,
After arresting the girl, the Jharkhand police took her for a medical examination at a local hospital. The girl resisted her arrest and fled from the hospital. She was, however, arrested again from a nearby area. The police then tied her tightly by the waist with a rope and took her away.
Aparna’s sister-in-law filed a complaint against her husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law, accusing them of harassing her for dowry. Upon raiding the house in Alwar, police found Aparna’s parents and her brother missing.
The police questioned Aparna and arrested her as she too was an accused.
The Supreme Court holds handcuffing and tying with ropes as inhuman and in violation of human rights. Section 498A of the IPC is extremely draconian and arms wives to get husband and in-laws arrested on mere complaint, without any prima facie investigation.
Sadly, all celebrating women’s day today, never raise their voice against injustice to women who are relatives of the husband. Even in 2021, laws are only designed to empower daughter-in-laws.
Update On The Matter:
Yogesh Mahajan filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which later directed the State Of Jharkhand to pay compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the victim woman. The complete order is below:
The Complainant, Shri Yogesh Mahajan, brought to the notice of the Commission a news report wherein it was reported that the Jharkhand Police tied one woman, named Aparna with a rope like an animal and took her to Jharkhand from Alwar, Rajasthan. The woman, perhaps, was an accused in a case under Section 498A IPC. Thus, the Complainant sought intervention of the Commission for necessary action.
Having considered the reports of the Police, the Commission issued notice under Section 18(a)(i) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 to the Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand directing him to show cause within four weeks as to why the Commission should not recommend payment of compensation of Rs. One Lakh to the victim Aparna, whose Right to Dignity was violated by the concerned police officers.
Thereafter, considering the reply to the notice submitted by the Inspector General of Police (HR), the Commission recommended to the Government of Jharkhand, to pay Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh only) as compensation to the victim, Aparna alias Parul. The Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand is directed to send within six weeks the compliance report along with the proof of payment. The Government of Jharkhand, instead of making payment, sent another report mentioning that the woman was not victimised by tying with a rope like an animal.
The Commission considered the report reiterated its recommendation to the Government of Jharkhand to pay Rs.1,00,000/- as compensation to the victim Aparana alias Parul and directed the Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand to submit compliance report alongwith proof of payment, followed by a reminder to the Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand, impressing upon him to submit compliance report alongwith proof of payment.
In response to the same, a report dated 25-06-2019 has been received from the Joint Secretary (Home), Disaster Management, Government of Jharkhand. It is intimated that necessary approval has been obtained from the State authorities to pay the recommended compensation to the victim.
The Commission carefully considered the facts and circumstances of the case and took note of the materials on record, including the contents of the report dt 26.8.2019. Since the recommended compensation has been approved, the Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand is directed expedite payment of the same to the victim to submit the compliance report along with proof of payment, at the earliest.
With this direction, the case is closed.
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