Lucknow: A Dalit woman, who petitioned a senior Uttar Pradesh Police officer seeking registration of her rape complaint, was told that her’s was not an age to be raped. “Who would rape an elderly woman like you,” said Keshav Chandra Goswami, additional superintendent of police, Deoria, when the woman from the Bankata area requested him to help her in getting the complaint registered, a TV news channel reported Friday.
Goswami reportedly asked the woman her age and when told that she was a mother of four and that the age of her eldest son was 17, he snapped at the woman saying: “Itni budhi aurat ka kaun balatkaar karega (Who would rape such an old woman).”
Condemning the incident, Congress party’s state unit president Nirmal Khatri said it was a blot on the state government. “Such a statement from a responsible official is very sad and shocking,” he said.
Trying to salvage an already tarnished image of the state police, senior police officials reacted sharply to the incident. “It is a serious matter, we are very sorry at the behaviour of the police officer,” Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Rajkumar Vishwakarma said.
He added that Director General of Police A.C. Sharma has sought an explanation from the errant official, and he has been asked to submit a written explanation within two days.
Based on the complaint of the Dalit woman, a case of rape has also been lodged by police against some villagers named by her, Sharma said.
Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party Vijay Bahadur Pathak said: “It is for everyone to see what the UP Police is doing: extorting money from poor people, firing at innocent people and responding late to crimes.”