Posted online: Friday, April 14, 2006
DEHRA DUN, APRIL 13: The rape of a 32-year-old Dalit woman protesting against the opening of a liquor shop at Gangolihaat town of Pitthoragarh district of Kumaon last night has sparked tension in the area. The town and adjoining areas remained closed today in protest against the rape. Women activists had been sitting on a dharna since April 4 protesting against the opening of a liquor shop.
According to Pitthoragarh SP Ajay Rautela, the victim was found in an unconscious state in a house under construction near the venue of the protest today. Residents took her to a hospital. After gaining consciousness, the woman alleged that she was kidnapped by a group of masked men and beaten up. She was taken to a nearby house under construction and gangraped.
The incident led to a spontaneous strike in the area. Angry citizens, most of them women, took to streets and demanded immediate action against the guilty.
There has been a growing tussle between liquor contractors and women from hills over opening of liquor shops. Women charge that successive governments have encouraged opening of liquor shops which ultimately affect families due to excessive drinking by men folk.
The police has registered a case of assault and rape against unidentified persons but no arrest has been made so far. Meanwhile, Uttaranchal CM N D Tiwari has announced a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh to the victim today