A 10-year-old girl in India was allegedly put behind bars for several hours after she and her mother came to police to report that she had been raped.
The incident took place in Bulandshahr, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the girl’s mother brought her to a women’s police station to file a complaint against a local man.
Two female constables have been suspended and two sub-inspectors have been sent to police lines, according to Senior Superintendent of the Police Gulab Singh.
"The child is a minor," Singh said in a press conference. "You can neither keep her behind bars nor can you hold her back as a victim in the station. This is wrong. If the lady constable has done this then we will definitely take appropriate action."
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Singh said the 10-year-old from Meerpur village was allegedly raped and dumped in a field on April 7. Her parents found her lying there unconscious.
Police at the women’s police station took a report from the parents, but locked the victim away anyway.
Station officer Gayashree Chouhan told the host of Bharat News Channel’s “Times Now” that she had no idea what happened to the girl.
"How can the officer in charge of the police station claim to not know why or when the minor was held?" the host asked, sensing a cover-up.
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Uttar Pradesh State Congress Chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi said this “shameful” incident is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to law enforcement there.
"Instead of arresting the accused the police is arresting the girl," she told CNN-IBN. "We have been saying this from one long time. No one is doing anything. I congratulate media for covering all these issues. We want strict actions to be taken against the guilty. UP government has failed to do anything. Insensitivity of police and UP government is shown here."
The suspect, who has not been identified, was referred to by Indian media outlets as a “local goon.” There have been no arrests.