Sleeping Dalit minor girl abducted from the house, raped and brutally murdered by a 40-year-old Rashid Khan
Police with the accused Rashid Khan (sitting)
“Meri laado ne uska kya bigaara tha; usne hamari jindagi barbad kar di, usko faansi honi chahiye”, said Menka’s (changed name) mother Chuki Devi and then she started crying. One can imagine her pain that was she going through.
“I don’t want to live anymore. That monster killed my daughter. We want justice else we will commit suicide” said the victim’s mother while sobbing.
The morning of June 22 (Friday) brought sorrow for the people of Barmer when they came to know that a six-year-old Dalit girl from Meghwal community was allegedly kidnapped, raped and murdered by a 40-year-old Rashid Khan last night. A few days ago, the family came to Girab to attend a marriage ceremony but ended up to losing its beloved daughter. Girab is located in Barmer district of Rajasthan near Pakistan border.
The heart-wrenching rape and murder has widely shaken and deeply shocked the entire State of Rajasthan and everybody who comes to know of this inhumane incident. Menka’s case is beyond description, sending shivers across the spine and it jolts ones heart. It brings tears in one’s eye if one tries to think about Menka. Menka had come to her maternal grandparents’ house and the family members were busy in celebrating the marriage. Nobody had an idea that a dark episode was eagerly waiting to happen.
“I cannot get my daughter back but to mitigate this heinous crime and to serve justice, the death penalty to Rashid Khan is the only solution” — Tikamram Meghwal, Father of Menka
According to the sources, the girl was sleeping beside her maternal grandfather when accused Rashid khan abducted her to an abandoned place and raped her. It was not all over as he choked her to death. Khan later dumped the body of the girl in a water tank.
While the minor’s kin was looking for the missing child, Rashid Khan acted suspiciously. The body was finally found in the water tank on Friday morning and police were informed, who retrieved it. Following this, the family filed a police complaint against the accused Rashid Khan.
Protesters Hit the Streets
As the news dispersed widely, tension escalated in the area when hundreds of locals came out of the home and hit the streets in protest against the gruesome crime. People have demanded a speedy trial in the case. The protest was not limited to Barmer only, people from all over the State protested against this rape and murder and demanded justice soon. To tackle the situation the police have assured of justice to the protestors and family members.
Father of the minor, Tikamram Meghwal alleged, “Rashid Khan had food and drink with Menka’s maternal grandfather in the night of the crime, I am not able to understand why he killed my daughter. I cannot get my daughter back but to mitigate this heinous crime and to serve justice, the death penalty to Rashid Khan is the only solution”.
“I have faith in the Government and I request them to do justice to me so that this does not happen again with somebody’s daughter” he added.
An Attempt to Escape
Rashid Khan has made an attempt to escape but he was caught by the cops soon. The police arrested him from a bus stand where he was about to leave for Gujarat. He has confessed his crime during questioning by the police and informed cops that he had killed the child due to fear of getting caught.
The forensic team has collected the evidence from the crime spot. Rashid Khan has been booked under Section 363, 366(A), 450, 376(1) 302, 5 (m), POSCO and SC/ST act and the case is being investigated under DSP Surendra Prajapat. Sources claimed that the accused Rashid Khan had a criminal record and he was out on bail.
Anger Against Media and Politicians
The anger of the locals was visible when Organiser team tried to approach the victim’s family. It was alleged that no media house hadreported this heinous crime except some Hindi local newspapers. A local resident of Girab, Sukhpal Charan lashed out at media and politician. He said in anger, “Those who were running #JusticeforAsifa campaign, are being seen missing in this case, because here the accused belongs to the Muslim community that doesn’t suit the agenda of media and politicians”.
“Even most of the newspapers and channels opted for silence and the incident has not been reported widely as they do in case of other crimes. Please note your voice is needed here also. Why the selective outrage against one horrific rape & shameful silence against another? The politicians and so-called messiah of Dalits like Jignesh Mewani have also maintained distance from this horrific incident, only because the accused in this case is a Muslim. What happened with their “Jai Bhim, Jai Meem” slogan?” he added.
One can see the anger and frustration in the eyes of locals as it’s been a week of this monstrous crime but no political leaders turned up to visit and console the family. Uncle of Menka, Mohan alleged that it’s really sad that no politicians have come to know our situation, they visit us only during election times. They cannot understand the pain of poor. They come to meet people only when they need votes”.
Barmer’s Dalit community people have alleged that the Congress has adopted double standards in the Meghna rape and murder case. People blamed Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi for appeasement politics.
Mother Chuki Devi and other family members mourning the death of Menka
“In 2016, a 17-year-old Delta Meghwal from Barmer district was raped and murdered whose body was found in a water tank in a hostel at Nokha in Bikaner district where the girl was pursuing BSTC training to become a teacher. At that time Rahul Gandhi reached the victim's native place at Trimohi village in Barmer to support the family but this time no one from his party and he himself came to console the family. He maintained distance from the incident because the accused belongs to Muslim community. Even in the Kathua rape case, Rahul was vocal against the crime but this time he preferred silence”, asserted Mohan.
BJP Rajasthan Spokesperson of Women Front Dr Nimisha Gaur expressed her views to Organiser, “The heinous crime with the innocent child is tragic and painful. The arrest of the culprit in the short period of time is appreciable and the justice will be done to the family. Crime against women and child is a major concern for our society. People have to change their attitude towards women. Today there is a need to absorb the basic values of Bharatiya civilisation and culture of respecting women beyond the occupational nature of western culture”.
“New law will be implemented soon with prompt action by the government under POCSO”, she added.