THE incident in Manika thana (Latehar district) exposes the hypocrisy of the BJP government’s boastful claims of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”. In Rankikala (Manika) a minor girl (Nandini Kumari) was taken to the thana on 14 June in the name of questioning her about the elopement of Juhi alias Priya (a girl belonging to the same village). Nandini was kept in a closed room from 8 am to 6.30 pm in the thana and tortured mentally and physically by policeman Rampravesh Sharma. Throughout the torture as the girl was constantly crying that she was innocent and knew nothing, the barbaric Rampravesh Sharma told the police that they should disrobe her and rub chilli powder into her to make her speak. Hearing this, the girl fainted from trauma. After 10 ½ hours of torture the girl was handed over to her parents who were told that she had just fainted slightly during their conversation and should be taken to hospital. She was brought to the Tumbak Garha Latehar Hospital in a serious condition. However, as her condition was too serious, she was taken in the evening of 15 June to Ranchi RIMS hospital.
An enquiry team led by CPI (ML) district Secretary Birju Ram, Kanhai Singh, and Mithilesh Kumar visited Nandini Kumari’s village Rankikala and met her family members and other villagers. The team found that this girl had no connection with the other girl who had eloped. On the other hand, the father and brother of Shyamlal Thakur with whom Juhi had eloped have been kept and tortured in Manika thana since 12 June; this by itself is an open flouting of the law. An enquiry team representing the CPI (ML) State committee and comprising of advocate Ajab Lal, Shanti Sen and Aloka from AIPWA, Sudama Khalkho, and CPI (ML) State committee member Nadeem Khan met Nandini’s parents on 17 June. They also met the doctor in-charge and the Director of RIMS to enquire into the lack of proper arrangements for her treatment, and gave directions for proper treatment and proper arrangements for food etc for the patient as well as her attendant.
After enquiring into this entire incident, the team demands action against the Manika thana in-charge, Rampravesh Sharma, and all others involved in the incident. They demanded that a case under section 307 should be registered against Rampravesh Sharma and a medical examination of Nandini should be done in order to bring out the whole extent of torture and assault. A protest was also held in Ranchi on 19 June by AIPWA and AIPF. In Dumka, the effigy of Chief Minister Raghuvar Das was burnt in a protest led by CPI (ML) and AIPWA. CPI (ML) held a dharna at the District HQ, Latehar on 23 June 2016. It should be noted that the Manika thana police personnel are constantly putting pressure to send Nandini back to her village in Latehar; the CPI (ML) opposes this strongly and demands that she should remain at RIMS until she has fully recovered and should be given adequate compensation by the government.