New Delhi, April 26: It was a desperate call for help on the women’s helpline 181 from the family of the raped five-year-old girl when the child went missing, but the Delhi Police failed to take action, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said Friday.
The Delhi government is to take up the matter with the union home ministry, sources in the government said.
Speaking to IANS, Dikshit said: “There was a report which came from our 181 women’s helpline on the five-year-old child who was raped. The 181 personnel kept speaking to the police, but they did not take any action.”
“They (police) did not respond,” she added.
The Delhi government runs the helpline.
A Delhi government official told IANS that the girl’s father had called up the helpline several times to report the missing child, who went missing April 15 and was found on April 17 from her neighbour’s room in east Delhi’s Gandhinagar area.
She had been kidnapped, starved, tortured and brutally raped for two days. The police had allegedly tried to hush up the matter by trying to bribe the father of the child when the girl was found.
“The father of the child called up repeatedly complaining that police was not lodging the FIR (First Information Report). We then made several calls to the police and even to the Special CP (Commissioner Police) in charge of the women’s complaints cell,” the official said.
Sources in the government confirmed to IANS that a report on this matter is being sent to the union home ministry, to which the Delhi Police reports.
The report could spell fresh trouble for Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar who was the target of public wrath over alleged police apathy in the rape of the girl with demands made for his resignation.
The brutality of the rape had triggered fresh protests in the capital. Police suspended two of its officers for delayed investigation and misbehaving with the girl’s parents.
The Delhi government set up the 181 round-the-clock helpline to aid women in distress in the wake of Dec 16, 2012 gang-rape in Delhi.
Following the brutal gang-rape and the public outrage it triggered, the Delhi chief minister had expressed her unhappiness over the security situation in Delhi, especially relating to women’s safety, and targeted Delhi Police over its handling of the protests.
She had written letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde over the functioning of Delhi Police and said the police needed to be sensitised to women’s issues.
(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)