A tragic incident occurred in Sidhi, Madhya Pradesh on 24th August, where a man belonging to an upper-caste had brutally attacked and killed a 17-year-old tribal girl for declining his sexual advances.
According to the police, Singh, a member of the Thakur caste, frequently pressured the girl to engage in sexual activities. However, she consistently declined his advances, preferring to be with someone who belonged to their own community. Dharmendra Singh, aged 45, along with his friend Dheeraj Singh, is currently in judicial custody and facing charges of murder, as well as sections of the (POCSO) Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act (Prevention of Atrocities).
Ravindra Verma Superintendent of Police, Sidhi revealed that on the day of the tragic incident, the girl had shared a social media post featuring herself wearing sindoor and a mangalsutra, “indicating her affection for a different man”. This action made Dharmendra furious and later that night, Dharmendra and Dheeraj forcefully entered the residence of the girl’s sister-in-law, where that girl was sleeping. “Dharmendra took the girl to another room and beat her to the death.” The police managed to catch Dharmendra and Dheeraj, who resided in Chirohi village, just before they could escape.
As per the police, Dheeraj kept the girl’s sister-in-law under control and threatened to harm her and her children if she disclosed anything about this incident. Once the girl lost her life, Dharmendra and Dheeraj left her lifeless body beneath a tree near the house. However, the police came across the unwillingness of the tribal community to apply charges beyond murder initially, which led to accusations of downplaying the seriousness of the crime.
Vivek Kol, the Tribal leader pointed out that the police took action only after concerns were raised about the absence of rape charges, POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act), or the SC and ST Act (Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities) against the two individuals. Kol made a statement to The Print, “The girl had suffered severe injuries in her body, including multiple fractures, and she belonged to the tribal community. Despite these factors, the police did not include the relevant sections of the POCSO and SC and ST acts.”
Kol said that Ravindra Verma clarified that additional charges were incorporated into the case after delving deeply about the information. He also mentioned that the initial postmortem did not confirm about the occurrence of rape, and they were still waiting for the autopsy report.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is well known for his order on the demolition of properties belonging to mafia members, rape suspects, and those involved in riots. Hence, Kol demanded for the demolition of the residences of accused individuals’.