Badaun and Bhagana Rapes: Grim Reality of Gender and Caste Atrocities

The brutal gang rape and lynching of two minor girls aged 14 and 15 in a village in the Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh is a grim reminder of the gender, caste and class based atrocities that women from Dalit, oppressed castes face on a daily basis in India.

Two months earlier, four teenage Dalit girls aged 13-18 were gang raped by higher caste landowners in Bhagana in Haryana, where the survivors are still fighting for justice to take off.

The fact that the higher caste rapists at Badaun chose to finish off their vile crimes by murdering the victims and leaving their bodies on brazen display in full public view, rather than make any attempt to hide their deeds, shows that the act was intended as a chilling spectacle of higher caste dominance. It also displays the confidence of the perpetrators, that they would not be punished for committing crimes against women from oppressed castes. Indeed, less than a percent of rape cases of Dalit women by non-Dalits end in conviction.

In the Badaun case, the police refused to investigate when the girls’ families reported them missing. Two policemen have now been arrested with charges of conspiring with the higher caste rapists. The families of the victims of Badaun have been warned with dire consequences for seeking justice. They have been threatened with retribution once media and public watch ends in the village. In Bhagana, the survivors have been forced to travel to and camp in Delhi and stage a long protest to demand the arrest of the rapists after the police refused to register cases against the powerful men – the village Sarpanch and his uncle – named by the girls in their testimonies. The police tried to forcibly evict them from Delhi’s Parliament Street, resorting to sickening misogynist abuse and violence – and were thwarted only thanks to the interventions of activists including those from JNUSU and AISA.

Badaun Gangrape: CPI(ML) and AIPWA Investigation Report

An investigative team of CPI(ML) and AIPWA led by Central Committee member Com. Krishna Adhikari arrived at village Katra Shahadatganj in Badaun on 04.06.2014 and probed the incident of gang rape and murder of two minor cousin sisters in the village. The investigative team included AIPWA national executive member Com. Vidya Rajwar, CPI(ML) State standing committee member Com. Afroz Alam, AIPWA Bareilly district convener Com. Meena Singh and Com. VH Aman.