Demand for Patan case trial to be shifted to Ahmedabad

The Parents’ Association of the Patan PTC and the 'Citizens forum against the Patan incident' jointly organised a public meeting on Saturday and demanded that the trial of the Patan gangrape case be shifted to the Ahmedabad Sessions Court.

The resolution passed in the meeting also said that the victim, a Dalit girl who was allegedly raped a number of times between September 2007 to January 2008 by her six teachers at the PTC be given the lawyer of her choice.

In a written request on April 21 to Amit Shah, minister of state for Home, the victim had asked that Naina Bhatt, public prosecutor in Ahmedabad, be appointed a special counsel in the case. So far, there has been no response from the government on the subject.

The trial is being conducted by Shailesh Thakkar, district prosecutor, Patan. Another demand at the meeting was that apart from the six accused teachers, other people responsible should also be put in the dock.

Meenakshi Joshi of the forum said, "A complaint of sexual harassment at the Patan PTC was made to the GCERT as far back as 1998, but no action was taken on that. We want the government to get to the bottom of this."

The resolution also highlighted the poor economic condition of the victim. The victim's family is fighting to make ends meet. Their resources are dependent on the erratic earnings of her father, who is an agricultural labourer.

The state government has given an award of Rs 1 lakh in the form of a bond that will mature after three years, to the victim for showing courage in coming out against her teachers. A memorandum of demands will now be sent to Chief Minister Narendra Modi and a delegation of the forum will meet governor Nawal Kishore Sharma on May 21.