A woman teacher, belonging to the janjati community was gang-raped by members of the student’s wing of the Indian National Congress, NSUI, near Dangari waterfalls on September 4 in the Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh. The accused have been identified as Saddam Khan and Imtiyaz alias Sonu Ali. The accused befriended the victim woman over social media and later invited her to meet them at the waterfall. As the accused were friendly to her, she went and was gang-raped by them. Following the incident, the victim filed an FIR against them.
As per the First Information Report (FIR number–125/2023) the accused men have been booked under IPC Section 294 (accused of using obscene words). 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (act done by several people with common intention).
As per the information collected by Organiser, the victim woman works as a teacher in a school at the Shankargarh area. Around 3-4 men befriended her over social media and over time she started talking to them regularly.
On September 4, the men asked the woman to show them the waterfall situated in the city and out of courtesy she agreed to it. The accused, a native of the Kusmi area travelled to Manoharpur to visit the Dangari waterfall. At the waterfalls, no one was present except this group and it was then they decided to rape the victim. They took turns and gang-raped the woman. Even her repeated cries could not make them stop.
Following the heinous act the accused threatened the victim with dire consequences if she dared tell this to anyone. They are influential people and if she dared speak a word about the incident with anyone she could get killed.
Notably, the victim lodged a complaint against the accused at the Bagicha police station of the Jashpur district. The copy of the same is not made available by the police calling it a ‘sensitive case’.
Bagicha police station in-charge Akhilesh Singh said that the police team reached Kusmi to search for the accused, but they could not be found. Teams have been sent to search for the accused, and soon both of them will be arrested.
Notably, the accused Saddam was the former secretary of the Youth Congress and social media in charge whereas Sonu Ali is also associated with the NSUI. Organiser checked their social media and found multiple posts from 2019 and 2020 when they were actively working for the Congress party.
Some posts can be seen here:
The Facebook bio of the accused Saddam reads that he works at the Indian National Congress, the profile of Sonu Ali is also filled with similar posts.
Considering the political background of the accused men, the Member of Parliament (MP) Gomti Sai has targeted the Congress in the case. The MP has demanded that the accused be arrested as soon as possible and sent behind bars. According to District Panchayat President Raimuni Bhagat, with the accused Saddam Khan there are many pictures of Jashpur MLA Vinay Bhagat on the internet. Vinay Bhagat should answer this and Congress should apologise, she added.
On the other hand, the national head of the Janjatiya Suraksha Manch, Ganesh Ram Bhagat said, if the police fail to arrest the accused they will call for widespread protest in the region. He also organised a protest with the locals at the police station.
He said, “Congress should be ashamed of their leaders who are involved in such act with a tribal woman”.
Here are some pictures from the protest: