Whats App Voyeurs Fail to Save a Health Worker’s Life

Published on: January 25, 2016
that day, she woke up early at 3 am which was unusual, as they usually woke during the Azan. Her older son was sick with jaundice, and she went with him to a local clinic at Purkazi to consult a doctor and get medicines. However for unknown reasons, the son reached home by himself; Somwati was not with him. Apparently she had asked him to go home without her, and she would follow soon.
viii. It is not known why Somwati did not return with her son or what happened with Somwati after her son left her.
ix. Somwati’s death occurred on January 12, 2016 at some point during the day. A few hours after her son came home, her husband got a call from unknown number informing him that his wife was lying face down on a roadside. She was immediately taken to hospital but she was declared dead.
x. That evening at 4 pm, an FIR was lodged in the local Chhapaar Police Station by her husband Suraj Tyagi and the former Pradhan, Anil Kumar. The FIR was lodged under section 376 & 306 of the Indian Penal Code which deals with the punishment of rape and abetment of suicide respectively and 66 A of the Information Technology Act which deals with punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc
xi. A Post mortem was done that night. According to the ASHA workers, the PM doctors had watched the video clips of the gang-rape as well.
January 13, 2016
Next day the incident was covered in the papers and was seen by ASHA workers. All the ASHA workers came together and demonstrated; they blocked the National Highway road to the village for almost half an hour, saying they would not let the body go for cremation until their demands were met. They also had ASHA’s joining in from as far as Ghaziabad, and from other parts of the district. All the ASHA works paid for their own travel and joined the demonstration. An FIR was lodged against 100 ASHA workers by Chhapaar Police Station.
xiii. The ASHAs got the information that the body had been taken through a different route so they went to her house and had a dharna (sit-in demonstration) on the site. The local member of parliament (MP) from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Union Minister Sanjeev Baliyan came to the house and heard their demands. He called up the District Magistrate (DM) and Chief Medical Officer (CMO )and asked them to visit the bereaved family. After he gave assurances to the ASHA workers that the CMO would come, then they allowed the body to be taken for cremation. The CMO came much later in the evening.
xiv. But in the FIR, the husband has mentioned that on January 11, 2016 he came to know about the fact that Somwati was raped by Shahid and after that incident she was mentally depressed and was shocked.
On the day the team visited the family her son was sick and had gone to visit the doctor, so the team could not ask him where she left him on the morning of January 12, whether Somvati had consumed anything, or had met anyone else.
There was an announcement that the state would give a compensation of Rs 30,000 to the family but the ASHA workers asked for more.

January 15, 2016
xv. After two days, an official from SDM office came to the house and handed over a cheque for rupees 5 lakhs from the state government.

January 16, 2016
xvi. When the team had left the house of Somwati on the afternoon of January 16, 2016 they saw that the local Hindutva leader, Sadhvi Prachi, had also come to visit the family. Initially she did not speak because the team was still waiting there. After they left she made a speech in which she reportedly said, “Mussalmanon ke liye bas do jagah bache hain – ya to Pakistan ya kabristan” (there are only two places left for Muslims, Pakistan or the cemetery).

January 21, 2016
Around 150 ASHAs had gathered from all over Muzaffarnagar district to attend the 10th day ritual following Somwati’s death to