Delta Meghwal rape case
On 29 March 2016, Delta Meghwal, a 17-year-old Dalit girl, was found dead at her college in Nokha, Bikaner district in the state of Rajasthan, India. Her body was found in a water tank of the Jain Adarsh Teacher Training Institute for Girls where she was a student. A First Information Report (FIR) lodged by her parents stated that she told them on 28 March that she had been raped by a teacher who, it is alleged, then killed her. Meghwal's cause of death has not yet been officially established.
Meghwal was pursuing second year of BSTC (Basic School Training Certificate) at the Jain Adarsh Teacher Training Institute for girls in Nokha, Bikaner.
On 29 March 2016, 17-year old Delta Meghwal's body was found in a water tank at the college. The FIR filed by Meghwal's parents alleged rape and murder. It named Priya Shukla, who was warden of the college hostel, along with Vijendra Singh, who was a physical education instructor, and Ishwar Chand Baid, the college principal. Their claim was that on 28 March, Meghwal called her father and told him she had been raped. She said that Shukla had sent her to clean the room of Singh and that Singh raped her once there. There were four other women in the hostel on that day. Her father alleged that the college tried to cover up the incident and claimed it had forced a written apology signed by Meghwal and Singh which indicated consensual sex.
Following the complaint, Singh was arrested by Bikaner police and placed in custody. On 8 April 2016, with the other two named parties now in custody, the Bikaner police said that a Forensic Science Laboratory report indicated Meghwal was raped and later drowned, rather than being placed in the tank when already dead. They said this suggested it was a suicide and not murder. The Indian National Congress (INC), who were the opposition political party, said that the state's Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje, was failing to provide justice. Raje said that the INC was engaging in votebank politics.
In April, the INC and the victim's father demanded intervention by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Soon after, it was reported that the Government of Rajasthan had recommended it but in September 2016 there was an appeal to the state governor, Kalyan Singh, to intervene because of claims that Raje had not acted on that intention.
There have been accusations that Meghwal was subjected to discrimination based on her Dalit status, such as by being asked to clean Singh's room. Members of the Dalit community have been active in demanding further investigation.
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