High Court Statement on Belagavi Stripping Case: Victim’s Plight Worse than that of Draupadi’s

The Karnataka High Court has ordered the State government to provide an additional status report after critically evaluating the local authorities’ handling of the recent assault and stripping incident in the Belagavi district. The court expressed dissatisfaction with the actions taken following the incident and specifically asked if the victim received appropriate counseling. It also questioned the reason for the delay in appointing the remaining eight accused individuals.

The upsetting event, which resulted from a family conflict, led the High Court to file a suo moto case. The female victim was accused of being physically assaulted, humiliated in public, and cuffed for an extended period of time to an electrical pole. The accused not only sexually assaulted the victim but also committed other crimes, such as damaging and ransacking her home, raising serious concerns about the breakdown of law and order, according to the court.

In the course of the hearing, the court examined the effectiveness of the police’s crime prevention apparatus and emphasized the necessity of conducting a comprehensive investigation. The victim’s ordeal lasted from 1 a.m. to 3.30 a.m., and the court noted this, emphasizing the need for a thorough investigation.

Chief Justice Prasanna B. Varale and Justice Krishna S. Dixit, who make up the bench, expressed their deep concern over the incident and emphasized how vulnerable women are in today’s society. Drawing comparisons to the Mahabharata, the court observed that the victim’s lack of support was similar to that of Draupadi.

The girl’s planned engagement on December 11 was thrown off when the victim’s son ran away with a girl from the same village on the evening of December 10. The victim was allegedly subjected to a violent assault after the girl’s relatives broke into the boy’s house in retaliation.

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