NEW DELHI: The rape and death of a 17-year-old Dalit girl from Barmer village has grabbed attention of the nation with the Congress and Left-oriented activists equating it with the suicide of Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad. The girl was pursuing a course to become a teacher at Jain Adarsh Teachers Training Institute at Nokha, the constituency of Rameshwar Doodi, leader of Opposition, in Bikaner. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi too has tweeted about it. The institute is owned by Ishwar Chand Jain, a close aide of a former Congress MLA Kanhya Lal, a rival of Doodi. However, unless some evidence points to murder, activists and the Congress won't succeed in making it an issue of crime against Dalits. On March 29, the girl's body was found in a water tank in her college campus. Investigations have so far revealed that her father, a teacher, dropped her at the hostel after Holi vacations on March 28.

Only four out of the 16 inmates were present in the hostel. A little after midnight on March 28, the Dalit girl received a call from physical training instructor (PTI) Vijendra Singh Jat who also stayed in the same campus. A few hours later, Leena, a nurse at the institute who also lives near the hostel, found the girl missing from the hostel room. The nurse then called the warden Priya Shukla. The teenage girl was found sleeping in Jat's room. Shukla made them write an apology letter. The girl was last seen leaving her room early in the morning before she disappeared. Her body was found floating in the tank just before noon. The police said the PTI was with the warden's husband since early morning. The post-mortem was delayed for two days. And this delay could be responsible for doctors not being able to detect semen of accused. The post-mortem has confirmed death by drowning.

The victim's family has alleged that her physical training instructor Vijendra Singh raped her and then threw her body into the water tank to make the heinous crime look like a suicide. "We do not have any evidence suggesting it a murder but have enough to say that she was repeatedly raped and that she committed suicide after her relationship with the accused became known. She is a minor and any sexual relationship with her amounts to rape," the SP told Mail Today. He added that cases under the Prevention of Atrocities on SC/ST Act too have been slapped. The warden has been arrested for not informing the police or her family about her presence in the PTI's room and instead extracting an apology from her and nor informing her parents or the police even when she went missing.