‘Rape could have been avoided if…’: Member of National Commission for Women on Badaun incident

A member of the National Commission for Women (NCW) has said that the rape-murder of the anganwadi worker in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun could have been avoided if the victim had not gone out alone in the evening.

“I tell women again and again that they should never go out at odd hours under anyone’s influence,” NCW member Chandramukhi Devi said on Thursday, when she visited the family of the woman.

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“I think if she had not gone out in the evening or was accompanied by any child of the family perhaps this incident could have been avoided. But this was pre-planned as she was called through a phone call. She went (out) and then returned in such a state,” Devi said.

The prime accused in the case, a temple priest, was arrested in a late night crackdown by the police in Thursday along with his two aides.

The 50-year-old anganwadi worker, who had gone to a temple on the outskirts of her village, was found dead on Sunday. According to the police complaint, the temple priest and his aides brought her body to her house in a sports utility vehicle (SUV) and told her family members that she fell into the dry well on the temple premises.

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The victim’s family members accused the temple priest and his aides of raping and murdering her and a case was registered against them.

Devi met the family of the victim and took stock of the action taken by officials in the case. The Station House Officer (SHO) of the area has been suspended.

The incident was “most sickening and unfortunate”, she said, pointing out that suspending the SHO was not enough. “The incident was most heinous and strict action should be taken. The government is very serious on these matters and yet such incidents take place,” she said.

(with PTI inputs)

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