THEME 4: FAILURE OF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
CASE STUDY: ROLE OF MEDIA IN MANIPULATING THE REALITY OF CASTE ATROCITIES & DENYING JUSTICE
Rajkumari Devi (name changed)
State: Uttar Pradesh
Age: 30 years
The victim used to work as a daily wage labourer and she also reared goats and pigs. On the date of the incident, like every day, she had left the house to get fodder for the cows and buffaloes from about 1km away. When she did not return home till late, her daughter started searching for her and she found her mother lying unconscious near the fields in a canal. The victim’s blouse was torn, her lower body (including private parts) were uncovered. She had succumbed to her injuries.
The family members of the victim and the Gram Pradhan reached the incident spot. The police sent the victim’s body for post mortem to the District Hospital. The police examined the call details of the victim’s mobile phone and found that the victim had received two calls from the accused in the morning before leaving for gathering fodder. Based on this information the victim’s husband lodged an FIR . The accused was arrested soon after.
On further enquiry, it was found that in the area where the victim’s body was found, wheat had been sown. Around 10 metres around this area the wheat crops had been destroyed. There was evidence that besides beating the victim, she had also been dragged on the ground as broken pieces of her bangles and her hair were found there.
The media wrote the case in a manipulated manner so that the case could be buried and resolved through out-of-court settlements. The victim’s family has not received any help or compensation from the government or any organisation. They are very poor and the police have not made any progress in the case except putting one accused behind bars. The others are roaming free.