New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports  that a 13 year old girl belonging to Scheduled Caste was gang-raped and killed when she had gone to relieve herself on the farmland owned by one of the accused on 15th August, 2020. Reportedly the victim was tortured before strangled to death. It is mentioned in the news report that there is a toilet in the victim’s house but it’s not functional.

The Commission has issued notices to the chief secretary and DGP, Government of Uttar Pradesh calling for detailed reports in the matter within 6 weeks including disbursement of the statutory relief as per rules framed under provisions of the SC/ST (POA) Act to the family of the victim, action taken against the guilty and the status of the FIRs registered in the matter. The chief secretary is also expected to sensitize the district authorities in the State to create awareness that the toilets should not be constructed for mere fulfillment of the government records, they are to be actually made functional.

The Commission found it appropriate to forward a copy of the news item to the secretary, union ministry of Jal Shakti, which is the nodal ministry for the ‘Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan.’  It is expected from the ministry to issue guidelines to all the States and Union Territories to ensure that the toilets are not only constructed but also used to make the country clean and save the women from the heinous crimes committed by anti-social elements when they go out to relieve themselves.  He is also expected to respond within 6 weeks. 

According to the media reports, both the accused have been arrested by the police. The senior superintendent of Police, Kheri has reportedly stated that the FIR has been registered under relevant sections of IPC and POCSO Act. He has further added that the National Security Act will be slapped against the accused who were arrested by the police within few hours after the incident.