Sr. Meena Lalita Barwa, in deep grip over the crime committed against her by Hindu militants says, “Orissa police failed to protect me from rapist and attackers. I lost my trust in them. Justice will be only possible if my case is taken by CBI.”
“Very police forces who watched while the crime was committed against me, and who also failed their duty to register my complaint initially and twisted later on and took over 40 days to take action until public outcry pour out. I do not trust in them to give me fair justice and punish the culprits,” says Sr. Meena.
Civil societies and Christian communities of India were disappointed at Supreme Court's judgement for refusing CBI enquiry over the rape case on October 22, 2008,
Court's refusal to transfer the case from Orissa Police to CBI came for the reason that the accused persons of the rape crime are already arrested by Orissa Police.
Sr. Meena was working at Divyajyoti Pastoral Centre at K. Nuagaon, Kandhamal District, Orissa before anti-Christian violence broken out in Kandhamal district of Orissa after the killing of Lakshmananada Sarawati on August 23, 2008 by Maoists.
* Statement made to the Press by Sister Meena
On 24th August around 4.30 pm, hearing the shouting large crowd, at the gate of Sivyajyoti pastoral centre, I ran out through the back door and escaped to the forest along with others. We saw our house going up in flame. Around 8.30 PM, we came out of the forest and went to the house of the Hindu gentleman who gave us shelter.
On 25th August, around 1.30 PM, the mob entered the room where I was staying in that house; one of them slapped on my face, caught my hair and pulled me out of the house. Two of them were holding my neck to cut off my head with axe. Others told them to take me out to the road; I saw Fr. Chellan also being taken out and being beaten. The mob consisting of 40-50 men were armed with lathis, axes, spades, crowbars, iron rods, sticks etc. They took both of us to the main road. Then they led us to the burnt down Janavikas building saying that they were going to throw us into the smoldering fire.
When we reached the Janavikas building, threw me to the verandah on the way to the dining room which was full of ashes and broken glass pieces. One of them tore my blouse and others my undergarments. Father Chellan protested and they beat him and pulled him out from there. They pulled out my saree and one of them slepped on my right hand and another on my left hand and then a third person raped me on the verandah mention above. When it was over, I managed to get up and put my petticoat and saree. Then another young man caught me and took me to a room near the staircase. He opened his pants and was attempting to rape me when they reached there.
I hide myself under the staircase. The crowd was shouting “Where is that sister, come let us rape her, at least 100 people should rape.” They found me under stair case and took me out to the road. There I saw Fr. Chellan was kneeling down and the crowd was beating him. They were searching for a rope to tie both of us together to burn in fire. Someone suggested to make a us parade naked. They made us to walk on the road till Nuagaon market, which was half a kilometer from there. They made to fold our hands and walk. I was with petticoat and saree as they had already torn away my blouse and undergarments. They tried to strip even there and I resisted and they went on beating me with hands on my cheeks and head, and with sticks on my back several times.
When we reached market place, about a dozen of OSAP police men were there. I went to them asking to protect me and I sat in between two policemen. They did not move. One from the crowd again pulled out from there there and they wanted to take us in their temple mandap. The crowd led me and Fr. Chellan to the Nuagaon block building, saying that they will hand us over to B.D.O. From there along with the block officer, the mob took us to police outpost Nuagaon, other policemen remained far.
The mob said that they will comeback after and one of them who attacked me remained back in the police outpost. Policemen then came to police outpost. They were talking very friendly with the man who had attacked me and stayed back. In police outpost we remained until the inspector incharge of Balliguda with his police team came and took us to Balliguda. They were afraid to us straight to the police station and they kept us sometimes in jeep in garage, from there they brought us to the station. The inspector incharge and other two government officers took privately and asked whatever happened to me. I narrated everything in detail to the police, how I was attacked, raped, taken away from policement paraded half naked and how the plicemen did not help me when I asked for help while weeping bitterly. I saw the inspector writing down. The inspector asked me “Are you interesting in filing FIR? Do you know what will be the consequence?” At about 10 PM, I was taken for medical check up accompanied by a lady police officer to Balliguda hospital” They were afraid to keep us in police station, saying the mob may attack police station. So the police took us to I. B. (Inspection Bungalow) where CRPF men were camping.
On 26th around 9 AM we were taken to Balliguda police station. When I was writing the FIR, the I/C asked me to hurry up and not to write in detail. When I started writing about the police, I/C told me this is not the way to write FIR. “Make it short.” So I rewrote it for the third time in one and half page. I filed the FIR, but I was not given a copy of it.
At around 4 PM the Inspector In charge of Balliguda police station along with some government officers put us in the OSRTC bus to Bhubaneswar along with other stranded passengers. Police were there till Rangamati, where all passengers had their supper. After that I did not see the police. We got down near Nayagarh and traveled in a private vehicle and reached Bhubaneswar around 2 AM on 27th August.
State police failed to stop the crimes, failed to protect me from the attackers, they were friendly with attackers, they tried their best that I did not register a FIR, not make complaints against police, police did not take down my statement as I narrated in detail and they abandon me half of the way. I was raped and now I don’t want to be victimized by the Orissa Police. I want CBO enquiry. God bless India, God bless you all.