Shoddy probe: 13 Andhra Pradesh cops acquitted, state asked to compensate women

The court said investigating officers failed to conduct a proper probe which led to the acquittal

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  7 April 2023 5:42 AM GMT
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Visakhapatnam, April 6: Special court for SC and ST cases on Thursday acquitted all 13 AP special police personnel who were accused of gang-raping 11 tribal women in Vakapalli, ASR district in 2007.

The court said investigating officers failed to conduct a proper probe which led to the acquittal.

The case was filed under section 376 (2) (g) of IPC and section 3(2) (v) of SC, ST (prevention of atrocities ) Act of 1989. The accused were acquitted under section 235(1) CrPC.

The court said the Apex Committee of the state government should try M Sivananda Reddy, one of the investigating officers, for failing to conduct a proper investigation. The action was also recommended against another investigating officer B Ananda Rao. However, it was dropped since he passed away.

The court also ordered that the rape survivors should be paid compensation. The judge asked the District Legal Services Authority to decide the quantum of compensation after due inquiry and pay them as damages due to their victimization of sexual assault and other crimes since 2007.

It may be recalled that 11 tribal women had alleged that a special branch of the police had come to their village and raped them in August 2007. Two of the eleven victims died a couple of years ago due to ill health. However, eight of the policemen were given a clean chit and the remaining 13 cops were implicated.

“The very fact that the court has ordered compensation to the victims shows that the Court reposed faith in their depositions. The landmark judgment is a major victory for the women of Vakapalli. The women stood steadfast in their demand for justice. Despite being illiterate in more ways than one, they never gave up their struggle,” said Y Rajesh and VS Krishna of HRF.

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