A member of the Rajasthan state commission for women has been criticised for clicking a selfie with a rape victim. Her actions have been classified as insensitive and shameful by the public, forcing the women's commission chairperson Suman Sharma to demand a written explanation.
It is understood that Sharma and Somya Surjar, who took the selfie, had gone to visit the victim at the Mahila police station in Jaipur North. The chariperson's demand for the explanation also comes across as futile because of the fact that she was present when the selfie was being taken. In fact, Sharma is seen grabbing the victim by her arm, seemingly trying to get her in the frame.
However, Sharma is quoted by Hindustan Times as saying, "I was talking to the victim when the member of the commission clicked these selfies. I am not aware when she [Gurjar] clicked. I do not favour such act and has sought a written explanation from her. She has been asked to submit the explanation by tomorrow,"
The matter came to public attention when pictures of Gurjar clicking selfies went viral on the messaging service WhatsApp on Wednesday, June 30. Gurjar has been receiving major backlash since then.
â€” Amam Shah (@amamsshah) June 30, 2016
Is this fair to her taking selfie with rape victim? Shame on her part https://t.co/OwxTRDx9ju
â€” Pavandeep15 (@Pavandeep15) June 30, 2016
The victim is a 30-year-old woman who was allegedly raped by her husband and two of his brothers. It is understood that they also tattoos expletives on her forehead and was torturing her for not bringing Rs. 51,000 as dowry.
Although an investigation has been initiated and FIR has been filed , Sharma says it is already delayed by 10 days. "Despite a court order, the FIR was registered after 10 days. It shows the state government's attitude towards women. The Women's Commission is a statutory body and this sort of conduct shows lack of commitment of office-bearers," Indian Express quotes her as saying.
The perpetrators have reportedly been charged under IPC sections 498-A (Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act), 376 (punishment for rape) and 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust).