The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the Madhya Pradesh government and the state's police and prison chiefs over reports that a woman was allegedly gangraped in a lock-up by five police personnel.
The alleged incident occurred in May and it came to the knowledge of the district judge after a period of five months. Even the prison warden "did not have the courage to report" the matter to the higher authorities, the NHRC said in a statement, quoting reports.
The NHRC has issued notices to the "chief secretary, director general of police and the director general of prisons of Madhya Pradesh after taking suo motu cognizance about the allegations made by women on the five cops of gang-rape in a lock-up".
The Commission directed that the matter be investigated by a senior police officer not below the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police, the statement said.
"It is mentioned in the report that a 20-year-old woman has levelled allegations that she was kept in a lock-up for 10 days in the month of May this year and was subjected to rape by five police personnel, including the Police Station Incharge and SDPO of Mangawan area of Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh," the statement said.
The woman, as mentioned in the report, was an accused in a case of murder and presently she is lodged in judicial custody, it said.
"As alleged by the victim woman, she was subjected to rape between May 9-21 while the police contradicts... Female constable had protested at that time but she was rebuked by her seniors," the statement said, quoting reports.
The Commission said it has considered the victim's vulnerable position.
She was in police custody when she was allegedly subjected to utmost cruelty and sexual assault by the police personnel, the rights panel said, adding that even a protest made by a female police official went in vain.
Very serious allegations have been levelled by the victim woman, the NHRC said.
"Public servants from the law enforcement agencies, who are supposed to safeguard the citizens specially women and the people from the vulnerable classes of society have allegedly committed the heinous crime against a woman in their custody," it said.
The NHRC, in another statement, said it has issued notices to the chief secretary and the inspector general of prisons of Madhya Pradesh after taking suo motu cognisance of alleged "violation" of some inmates, and sought a detailed report.
The report should be submitted within four weeks and include the present health status of all the SIMI prisoners and their medical treatment records, the rights panel said.
Six members of the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) had begun a hunger strike inside the Central Jail, Bhopal a week ago and now they have been shifted to the jail hospital, it said.
The prisoners who were found guilty of sedition, collecting arms and waging war against the government were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2017 and 2018 by different courts including the NIA and CBI Special Courts, the statement said.