Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
It is a Latin phrase found in the work of the Roman poet Juvenal from his Satires (Satire VI, lines 347–348). It is translated as “Who will guard the guards themselves?”
Written thousands of years ago, it is relevant in today’s context. All the more now, in light of the gang rape of a 13-year old minor by an- Inspector in charge, an unidentified officer and others.
Ananda Majhi, the Inspector-In-Charge (IIC) of Biramitrapur police station in Sundargarh district, who had allegedly subjected the 13-year-old tribal girl to sexual assault in the police station and forced her to undergo an abortion, reportedly holed up in a mango orchard in Angul district from where he was intercepted by the State’s Crime Branch.
Majhi was arrested swiftly just hours after the state director general of police Abhay dismissed the former from the service and tendered an apology to the rape survivor for the cop’s heinous misconduct which tainted the entire department. “I am glad that the Crime Branch swiftly arrested the dismissed IIC, whose shameful conduct caused embarrassment for us. Our apologies to the rape survivor,” Abhay said.
Crime Branch has traced and arrrested Ananda Chandra Majhi , dismissed Inspector and accused in this case from forested area under Handapa PS of Angul district .He will be produced before judicial court now .
Well done Crime Branch of Odisha Police . https://t.co/3KbOb8FhII
— DGP, Odisha (@DGPOdisha) July 1, 2020
As per media reports, the main accused Majhi, another officer of Biramitrapur police station whose identity hasn’t been disclosed, the rape survivor’s stepfather and 2 local youth were accused of gang-raping the 13-year-old tribal girl for several weeks between March and June. The government doctor is also in trouble after a case was registered against him for assisting in the crime and aborting the girl’s fetus.
Thousands of rape cases go unregistered in India, especially when the rape victim is someone who lacks power – either social or economic. The rape victim doesn’t only need to bear the trauma of the heinous crime committed on her body but also carry the heavy burden of undelivered justice.
This incident was a matter of fate, that it came to light. According to TOI, the minor, who was seen crying outside the police station a few days ago, was rescued by a local NGO and later handed over to the child welfare committee (CWC) in Sundargarh. The girl had come Biramitrapur to watch a local fair a few days before lockdown in March. While waiting for transport to return home, which was around 22 km from the fair site, the Biramitrapur police patrolling van spotted her and took her to the police station where Majhi allegedly raped her, after which the local police dropped her in her village. But Majhi often allegedly called her to the police station and sexually assaulted her after that incident.
It is the need of the hour for the police to speedily file the charge sheet, and for the judiciary to hasten the process of justice meted out, for whatsoever relief it can provide to the little girl and a dime of hope to everyone who still has hope in the judicial system.