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Rape victim awaits justice for quarter of century

Shocked and shattered, the victim turns a “living corpse”

Gulf News

Patna:As the entire nation protests on the streets seeking severe punishments to the accused of the heinous Delhi gang-rape, a rape victim in Bihar has been awaiting justice for a quarter of century. The shattered victim who was latter “rejected” also by her husband has now lost her mental balance and reduced to a mere “living corpse”.

Angry villagers are now seeking justice for the victim, a resident of Ishachak locality in eastern Bihar’s Bhagalpur district, the way the nation rose on its feet to seek justice for the Delhi gang-rape accused.

Yesterday, the local villagers backed by several social and voluntary organisations staged a sit-in in front of the office of the Bhagalpur district magistrate, asking the local administration to speed up investigation in the case and deliver justice to the accused who has suffered severe mental shock after losing all hopes of justice.

A local voluntary organisation has also handed over a mobile phone to the victim’s family to enable them call up the police during the emergency period but the family says they have no money to get a mobile connection and also to pay the bills. “We don’t have money to get a mobile connections…Also we have never used a mobile phone and don’t know how to operate it”, one of the victim family members said.

According to the family members, the family lost peace and happiness shortly after the victim’s father, an official in the state fisheries department, purchased a plot of land and constructed a house in 1979. They said soon after the family shifted to the new house, the local criminals began making extortion calls to the official but he refused to oblige.

As the official took no notice of the extortion calls, the angry criminals finally abducted his daughter, then a class X student of a local school, at gun-point in 1987 and gang-raped her during the captivity. After sexually assaulting then girl for about a month, the criminals finally left the victim just outside her house one day and fled. The harassed family members later made several rounds of the local police requesting the administration to nab the accused but their pleas went unheeded.

Losing all hopes, the family stopped pursuing the case but the cold response of the administration shocked the victim’s father so much so that, he ultimately died a broken man in 1991—four years after her lone daughter had been robbed of her modesty, the victim’s mother told the local media.

The death caused severe financial hardships to the family and in the coming years, they sold this “ill-fated” house to get the daughter married but the chain of miseries failed to stop. A few months later, she was rejected by her husband as the marriage failed. In the meantime, one of her sons was killed by criminals. Shattered and shocked, she returned her parent’s house only to lose her mental balance. Now her life is completely devastated as the family says she is nothing more than a “living corpse”.

“After the horrific incident, life has never changed for us,” victim’s mother said adding her family had been awaiting justice for the past 25 years.

After the victim’s horrible tale was highlighted by the local voluntary organisations, the local district administration has ordered for the health check-up of the victim at the local Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital. The police administration too has turned active and assured to give justice to the rape victim.

“We are trying to ascertain status of the case. We will initiate action shortly after getting all the details,” the local senior superintendent of police K.S. Anupam told the media.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has favoured reducing the juvenile age from 18 to 16 stating he had information that most of the crime was being committed by the youngsters in the age-groups.

“This a serious issue which needs urgent reconsideration, and my suggestion is that the age of juvenile offenders should be reduced from the present 18 to 16 in view of spate of crimes being committed by the youngsters,” Kumar told the media on Monday.