Bihar Gangrape Survivor Granted Bail After Nationwide Outcry

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Clarion India

NEW DELHI—A 22-year-old gangrape  survivor who was sent to jail on July 10 over the charges of assault on court staffer was granted bail on Friday by a court in Araria, Bihar. Her two aides who supported her have been denied the bail, Clarion India has learnt from an official of Jagran Shakti Sanghtan (JSS), the organisation she works for.

A scheduled hearing at the High Court into the case could not happen, however the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Araria, held a special hearing on Wednesday despite courts being suspended due to covid threat and then granted bail to the survivor on Friday.

Several women groups and activists had on Thursday written to the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court seeking his intervention in the release of the survivor and her associates. “We strongly condemn the gross violations of the rights of the rape victim and activists during the course of seeking justice. Such action is not only harmful in this case but sets a dangerous precedent of lapse of judicial accountability which will affect all other survivors of sexual assaults and their support givers,” read the statement signed by 63 feminist groups and 7,020 individuals.

She was arrested on the orders of CJM after she gave her statement about the incident. The arrest had triggered a national outrage with activists terming it unjust as they demanded her release.

The woman was allegedly gang-raped on July 6. According to a report in the Hindu, an FIR was lodged at a women’s police station on July 9, accusing five men of sexually assaulting her. Only one of the men has been arrested so far.

The JSS has appealed the release of the two aides who supported her. It said the survivor needs their company for support while she struggles with trauma. “While the survivor was given bail, contrary to all expectations, her friends and support persons Kalyani and Tanmay’s bail was rejected. This is not legally sustainable, It is unclear why kalyani was not given bail since she has been booked for similar charges as the survivor.”

The group  moved the bail application of the duo before the CJP, Araria, “but we have been advised that no hearing is taking place in view of the circular of 15th July which has suspended functioning of the District Courts because of Covid.”

They said they are exploring all the legal options amidst the restrictions as advised by our lawyers Anuj Prakash and Vrinda Grover.

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