Survivor of sexual assault by Rajathan Police, Seema, whose subsequent suicide attempt resulted in 80 percent paraplegia has been granted bail by the Supreme Court of India
By Team FI
Paraplegic woman, Seema who has spent the last 63 days in police custody after her arrest in a kidnapping and sexual abuse case has been granted interim bail on May 1st by the Supreme Court. According to the People’s Union for Civil Liberties‘s (PUCL), Rajasthan, press release, Justice CS Thakur and Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra said that Seema was a living corpse and she deserved dignity and not custody.
Seema’s story begins on 23rd January 2011, when she was brought into the Pratap Nagar police station (Jaipur) for questioning in an alleged kidnapping and sexual abuse case. Even as her father Shivdan Singh, a constable, was waiting outside, she was beaten and sexually assaulted by the SHO Ramniwas Bishnoi, head constable Babru Khan and constable Lal Chand. The next day, Seema, in an attempt to commit suicide jumped in front of train. She survived but spinal cord damage left her paraplegic. Her left leg had to be amputated above the knee.
Public uproar and protests by women organisations resulted in the arrest of the three policemen who are currently in jail, their bail applications having being rejected by both lower and higher courts. However in what activists and Seema’s parents believe is a bid to silence Seema, she was implicated in the kidnapping case and arrested on 29th of February, 2012. It was alleged that the victim of the sexual abuse case was forced to include Seema’s name as a conspirator.
Judicial magistrate Chandra Kala Jain sent Seema to the same jail where her abusers were being kept. She was shifted later to Sawai Man Singh hospital by jail authorities. According to Seema’s lawyer Ajay Kumar Jain, her bail plea was rejected by additional judicial magistrate Anita Sharma of the special court for women’s atrocities on the grounds that her pulse and her blood pressure were normal.