Vakapalli gangrape case: Cops welcome speedy trial fiat
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
Visakhapatnam: Hoping an order in favour of the police in Vakapalli gangrape case, the police in Vizag district, including the accused, have welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to speed up the trial. It may be recalled that the apex court on Friday ordered that trial against 13 Greyhound commandos, who were allegedly involved in the gangrape of 11 tribal women belonging to the Vakapalli area under G. Madugula mandal in Vizag Agency, be expedited and concluded within six months.
President of the Visakhapatnam District Police Officers’ Association J.V.R.S. Subba Raju said they welcomed the directions of the Supreme Court in Vakapalli case.
"The truth will definitely come out and the police personnel would be free. The apex court directions have come as a relief to the accused in the case as their families have been undergoing mental agony for the past one decade," he added.
"The rape case against the elite anti-naxal force (Greyhound cops) of Andhra Pradesh was fabricated by some people, including red rebels and their supporters, to stop the operations of the forces," he said.
"Greyhound cops have been taking immense risk in stopping the illegal activities of Maoists. And the Maoists, in turn, campaign against them using tribals as shields. We want speedy trial in the case so that it can be proven that the case was fabricated," he added.
As per the case details, 11 tribal women from Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) were allegedly gangraped by Greyhounds at the Vakapalli area under G. Madugula police station limits in Vizag Agency on August 20, 2007. The Paderu court accepted a private petition filed by the victims in August 2008, as the accused approached the AP High Court and got a stay. Though the stay was quashed on April 26, 2012, the accused approached the Supreme Court and obtained a stay, which was vacated on September 1.
The latest copy of the court order says that the court was not inclined to make any interference with the impugned order passed by the High Court and dismissed the special leave petition.
Judges said it was regrettable that trial has been pending for the past 10 years in such a serious case and directed the trial court to decide the case expeditiously in accordance with law, preferably within six months from September 1, by hearing it on a day-to-day basis.
The special leave petition was filed by constable A. Ravi Kumar and the respondent was Pandi Sridevi, one of the victims of Vakapalli gangrape case.
Human Rights Forum (HRF) general secretary V.S. Krishna said the apex court had dismissed the plea filed by the accused seeking a quashing of the proceedings and maintained that the victims had right to justice through a criminal trial.
After justice eluded the tribal women for a decade, they now had some hope with the Supreme Court issuing orders that the trial be expedited and concluded within six months, he added.