16-year-old gang-rape victim battles for life, criminal silence
New Delhi: Even as the condition of a 16-year-old gang-rape victim from southeast Delhi’s Jamia Nagar continues to be critical after she was tested positive for Hepatitis B because of an infected rapist, a “criminal” silence is being maintained by different sections of the society – be it the media, ‘vibrant’ civil society, local political representatives and the police.
The only apparent reason is extremely poor family background of the victim.
Her mother is a domestic help and father drives e-rickshaw to make two ends meet.
The victim is suffering from severe throat infection because of the forced oral sex. She is unable to talk properly. She remains “unconscious most of the time because of the higher dose of drugs she was given during the entire period 4-5 days when she was held hostage”.
The minor girl was abducted from the locality on August 20 by a person known to her and sexually assaulted by 25 men till August 25 in a room at an isolated place located somewhere at a distance of 3-hour drive from Delhi.
She was – according to her MLC report – intoxicated with some drugs, perhaps through injection as her right hand has an injection mark, so that she cannot scream. She was kept blind-folded throughout the period. Her eyes were opened whenever she was provided food to eat during which she managed to count the number her assaulters who had their faces covered.
“After they repeatedly raped her for four consecutive days, she was sold to a person in Delhi who sodomised her at a graveyard in Nizamuddin,” Nizia Hassan, a social worker who is counselling the victim, told Indiatimes.
Hassan says the girl – a class 8 student – is still under the influence of drugs and whenever she opens her eyes she asks for it. “Because of acute pain, she is unable to sit and walk,” said the victim’s mother.
Ironically, the police which claim to have become zero tolerant towards sexual violence post December 16, 2012 Delhi gang-rape incident are“pressurizing” the family to get the victim treated at home “for the sake of honour”.
The victim’s family wants to leave the area because people in the neighbourhood have to know about the incident.
It is also being alleged that several graphic details provided by the victim that could be “helpful to apprehend the culprits” has “not been recorded in the FIR”.
Only prime accused, who is said to be a juvenile, has been taken into the custody. The rest 24 are still at large even after more than a week of the registration of the FIR.
The girl’s statement was recorded on Monday before a magistrate under section 164 CrPc on Monday after she was discharged from a hospital where she was admitted after her condition deteriorated soon after she managed to return home.
Disappointed with the police “apathy”, locals of the area took out a candle march on Tuesday evening and shouted slogans at Jamia Nagar police station.
The police argue that they cannot arrest minors involved in the incident.
“We have already taken into custody the prime accused who is a minor. During custodial interrogation, he has confessed to have known to the victim but has denied his involvement in the incident. The attendance register of his school also shows he was present in the class on the days of the incident. Despite this, we are exploring all the angles to ensure culprits can be brought to book and the victim gets justice,” a senior officer close to the investigation told Indiatimes.
Notably, the main accused who is in the custody studies in the evening shift of the same government school in the locality where the victim is enrolled.
She was introduced to the boy by one of her batch mates. The boy befriended the victim over a period of time and took her to a flat where he established physical relations with her and recorded the act. Then, he started blackmailing her threatening her that he will make the video public if she refuses his demand of sexual favours.
He kept on sexually exploiting her for a long time. Later, he was joined in by more and more people who kept their faces covered during the heinous act.
“The problem is we cannot arrest juveniles and quiz them properly. We can only detain them for questioning. We are trying our best and expecting a material disclosure within a week,” said the officer. He said the victim has mentioned the name of two others in her statement before a magistrate and they would be questioned soon.
Silent Civil Society And Local Political Representatives
Many civil rights and religious organisations based in Delhi have visited Mewat district in Haryana where a couple was murdered and a minor girl and her married cousin were gang-raped by robbers who went on a rampage at Dingerheri village around midnight on August 25.
But none of them are bothered to pay heed to what have happened in their own city.Not a single person having a big name in the field of rights activism has met the family of the 16-year-old who is battling to return to normal life. The family is suffering from financial crunch and is unable to meet medical expenses required for the recovery of the girl.
Those who had gathered yesterday to seek justice for the victim contributed a sum of Rs 3,000 to the family to meet the expenses. Ironically, the local MLA or the counsellor has not approached the family, forget about raising voice for them.