Police vs family and activists

The case of the rape of a four-year-old girl in Delhi and the subsequent involvement of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party has been widely reported, largely because party workers were allegedly beaten up by police.

It is interesting to note how Hindustan Times, Delhi has reported this — http://www.hindustantimes.com/IndiaSectionPage/Chunk-HT-UI-HomePage-TopStories/Drama-at-police-post-over-rape-case/Article1-967032.aspx

The basic facts are similar in all the reports — the child was raped by a 50-year-old neighbour and the family was attempting to register a case of rape.

HT in its story on Dec 2, has titled its report: Drama at police over ‘rape’ case. No other report — in TOI, The Hindu or Indian Express has called the rape into question. The entire report is based on what the police has said. No member of the family has been spoken to, nor have the members of the party been quoted. The police have been quoted as saying that since a medical examination did not confirm rape, a case of molestation had been registered but that the family was insisting on a rape case. The report mentions ‘scores’ of activists protesting at the police station, but no mention of why. The last few lines mention ‘disciplinary proceedings’ against three police officers for ‘apparent inefficiency’ — again a quote by a police officer. Again, no details as to why or what happened.

TOI in its report (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Arvind-Kejriwals-party-activists-allegedly-thrashed-by-police-in-Delhi/articleshow/17445170.cms) has said the family said the neighbour was caught red-handed, and that the police refused to file an FIR. It quoted AAP activists saying they had been roughed up, and also quoted them as saying three police officers had been suspended. It however, did not quote the police. Giving the family’s version makes it more clear what the issue was all about, and why the protest had been staged in the first place. HT’s report makes it seem like the police had done their jobs, but the family was just being unreasonable.

The Hindu, in its report (http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kejriwal-supporters-take-on-police-for-not-registering-rape-case/article4154352.ece), makes it clear there are two conflicting versions. It gives the family’s version through quotes from AAP activists and then quotes the police giving their version. More balanced, yet puzzling, as the police’s quote says the family made a statement, but did not mention rape or molestation. What statement did they make then?

Interestingly, HT in a related web version of the story, has an agency report — http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/Chunk-HT-UI-HomePage-TopStories/Police-thrash-Arvind-Kejriwal-s-supporters-over-minor-s-rape-FIR/Article1-967032.aspx — which quotes only the activists and lists tweets by Kejriwal.

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