Dalit woman parade case: Karnataka Police to submit 1,500 page charge sheet

Sleuths have completed the investigation and are preparing to submit 1,500 pages of charge sheet.

Bengaluru: Special wing of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was preparing to submit a charge sheet to the court in the case of parading a Dalit woman in the Vantamuri village of Karnataka’s Belagavi district , sources said on Wednesday.

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The sleuths have completed the investigation and are preparing to submit 1,500 pages of charge sheet. Sources said that 45 persons are considered as eyewitnesses and technical evidence has also been collected.

The CID special teams were stationed in Belagavi for 15 days. The team had recorded the detailed statement of the victim’s daughter. The investigation had revealed that the accused persons could not tolerate the fact that their daughter, who was already engaged and set for marriage, had eloped with the son of the victim.

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The accused assumed that they had lost respect and honour by the act of their daughter and got provoked by the relatives. The accused also thought that the elopement of their was a deliberate act by the boy’s family to humiliate them.

The CID team also got reports from the jurisdictional Kakathi police station which investigated the matter initially. As per the direction of the High Court, the CID sleuths had also questioned those who were captured on mobile phones witnessing the incident, and not reacting.

The statement of the victim, an old woman who witnessed the incident, and doctor’s statements are recorded and considered as vital by the probing agency, police sources explained. The investigation was carried out by the team led by CID ADGP Bijay Kumar Singh.

On December 10, 2023, a 42-year-old woman was dragged outside her home, stripped naked, and paraded. She was then tied to an electric pole and assaulted, reportedly because her son had eloped with a girl from the village. The terror was unleashed on the boy’s mother by the family members of the girl.

The incident proved to be a setback to the Congress government in Karnataka, as it had taken place during the winter Assembly session at Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi.

The Karnataka High Court had strongly criticised the government earlier for the failure of the police department to prevent the incident.

The Bench remarked: “Imagine the fear among other women? They will feel unsafe in the country. Such an incident did not even take place in Mahabharata. Draupadi had Lord Krishna who came up to help her, but in the modern world, no one came to help this woman. Unfortunately, this is a world of Duryodhanas and Dushasans.”

The Karnataka High Court also expressed that the villagers who stood mute spectators as the Dalit woman was stripped and paraded naked, should be fined by the government while the collected money must be given to the victim.

A Division Bench, headed by Chief Justice P.B. Varale and Justice Krishna S. Dixit, while looking into the suo motu PIL filed regarding the case, further said that the Karnataka government should make a provision for punishment or imposition of fines on the people of Vantamuri Village in Belagavi district where the incident took place.

The case was handed over to the special wing Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The police have arrested all 13 accused persons, including a minor, in connection with the case. The state government had awarded two acres of land to the victim.

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