Sushilkumar Shinde names Bhandara rape victims; govt turns down demand for CBI probe

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 01, 2013 13:45 hrs

New Delhi: Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday committed yet another gaffe when he named the victims of the Bhandara rape incident in Rajya Sabha which had to be expunged at the intervention of Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley.

Pointing out the gaffe, Jaitley, a senior lawyer, said as per law the victims of rape, that too minors, are not identified and named and their identity should be kept a secret as per Supreme Court guidelines.

"I am sure it is an oversight...Three minor children are being named in the statement of the home minister. What should not have been done, has been done. Victims named should not have been named. Their names have come out and their identity disclosed. The home minister should withdraw his statement and a fresh one be laid in the House," said Jaitley.

Earlier, Shinde named the three sisters of Bhandara in Maharashtra, who were allegedly raped and murdered recently, in a written statement which was read out by him.

At first, Shinde could not get the import of what Jaitley was pointing out.

PJ Kurien, deputy chairperson who was in the Chair, told him that Jaitley has raised a very, very important point. The names of the victim should not have been disclosed. These names of victims are hereby expunged," he said.

Kurien directed the media also not to name the victims as listed out in the home minister's statement, saying if it is done it will be taken as a matter of privilege.

Shinde thanked Jaitley for pointing out the "inadvertent" error and sought to withdraw the names.

Govt turns down Opposition demand for CBI probe into Bhandara rape

Government on Friday turned down Opposition's demand in Rajya Sabha for a CBI probe into rape and murder of three Dalit minor girls, all below 11 years, in Maharashtra's Bhandara district, saying Centre does not intervene in state affairs.

"This is a very serious issue and concerns the jurisdiction of Maharashtra government," home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said, adding the Centre did not intervene in state matters "be it a Congress government or an Opposition-ruled government."

Shinde was making a statement in the Rajya Sabha, where members, outraged over the incident, demanded that the Centre should ask for a CBI probe into the ghastly act.

He said teams have been formed to pursue different lines of investigation, which is going on, and Maharashtra police was carrying out the probe to track the offenders.

"I am deeply shocked at the despicable, ghastly and brutal manner in which three minor girls from the same family were brutally raped and murdered and thrown into an abandoned well near Murwadi village, Lakhani police station, Bhandara district of Maharashtra," Shinde said.

As members accused the Maharashtra government of inaction, Shinde said in-charge of the police station Prakash Mude was suspended on February 19 as he "did not deal with the complainant promptly and professionally."

Shinde said, "Collective conscience of all members of the House would be equally revolted to know about the horrendous incident."

He said the Centre would convey the sentiments of the members to the state including the anguish over the problems caused to the complainant.

He said police have already registered an FIR adding, after an inquest by Taluka Magistrate a postmortem was conducted by a team of five doctors and "it appears that all three deceased girls were subjected to sexual abuse and murdered before throwing them into well."

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