Travesty of Justice

It takes a minister’s intervention to file a FIR in Reingamphy Awungshi case, reports NEHA DIXIT

Forget justice, Reingamphi’s death shows how even basic investigation proceedings are elusive in this country. Not just her family and the northeast community had to protest for three days to get a FIR registered but also the post mortem report has been brazenly botched up.
On May 29, she was found dead in her rented apartment in Chirag Delhi. She had multiple injuries; her nose was bitten off, her eyelids scratched, eyes bleeding and a big cut on her leg. There was a cell phone in her hand.

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Bosco, her cousin says, “Even when the landlord knew our contact details, he did not inform us and broke open the door to her room with the help of the police. We strongly suspect tampering of evidence.” Bosco also informs that they were forced by the SHO to write down ‘death under suspicious circumstances’ instead of ‘suspected murder and sexual assault’ in their complaint to the police.
It’s the third day since the northeast community has been demanding the copy of a FIR outside the Malviya Nagar police station of South Delhi district.
Binalakshmi, founder of Manipur Women Gun Survivor’s Network says, “The interim post mortem report came to us only last night. It mentions that the body had no blood stains. This is a blatant lie as evident in the pictures taken when her body was found the day before.”
The police, after a lot of protest, agreed to provide the FIR number to the family last night at 8 o’clock. After a lot of insistence they were finally handed over the FIR copy. The case was registered under section 306, which denotes ‘abetment to suicide’. It is also important to note that the reason on death in the interim post mortem report is mentioned as ‘pending’ and in spite of that the case has been registered under section 306.
Moreover, the family members informed the SHO Vijay Pal on several occasions that Reingamphi was continuously stalked by her landlord’s brother-in-law. She had even complained to her landlord on several occasions about the sexual innuendos in his brother in law’s conversations with her. He has not yet been taken into custody for interrogation.
Kiran Walia, MLA of Malviya Nagar and also the Minister of Health, Women and Child Welfare, Delhi met the protestors today outside the Malviya Nagar police station. “How can assault be ruled out in the investigation?” she said. She informed the crowd that the demand to transfer the case from the Malviya Nagar police station to the Special Crime branch has been conveyed to Delhi police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar and he has replied in the affirmative.
The travesty of justice is evident in the fact that only after a minister’s intervention, the local police filed a basic FIR. The family is now demanding a fresh post mortem, all police proceedings in writing and an investigation under charges of murder and sexual assault.

Neha Dixit

Neha Dixit is a freelance journalist based in New Delhi, India. She covers development, gender and conflict in South Asia. She has worked in multiple mediums including online, print and television and have reported for Tehelka, Outlook, Motherland, Fountain Ink, Open, Mail Today, India Today, Headlines Today.