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Shame in khaki: Mentally challenged rape survivor struggles with unjust police


Priyanka Dube,CNN-IBN
Mar 07, 2013 at 10:09pm IST

Haryana: While the laws on crimes against women still need strengthening, activists say no attention is paid to how the upholders of the law, the police, even at senior levels, do their job on the ground. In a Haryana city, just a 100 kms from Delhi, a DSP displayed complete callousness in dealing with a gangrape case where the survivor is a mentally challenged and visually impaired minor girl.

The DSP on camera also gave the main accused a clean chit even before the trial. The 17-year-old rape survivor is a visually impaired and mentally challenged girl, but that didn't stop her violators from brutalizing her in broad daylight inside her own house.

"They threw me from the bed and tore my clothes and then gagged me. I am so scared," said the rape survivor as she narrated her trauma. Soon after the gangrape in November 2012, the police arrested five people, but then released four of them, including the 64-year-old landlord of the rape survivor's house.

"When I returned from the market I saw a man inside my house. He alerted another man saying 'her mother is back'. When I went inside the room I saw my daughter was unconscious," reveals the rape survivor's mother.

Posing as social workers, the CNN-IBN reporters met the local District Superintendent for his view on the case, which was loaded in favour of the landlord.

HIDDEN CAM SEQUENCE

Reporter: This is mother. She says she saw the accused.

DSP: You never told us his name.

Mother: I did tell his name.

DSP: No, you did not tell his name.

While the camera was rolling, the DSP tried to intimidate the family and even accused them of lying.

DSP: You shouldn't lie. I would never do such work. You shouldn't falsely accuse somebody like this. Think about god.

The DSP even ridiculed the rape survivor and her mental condition, implying that she could not be clear about the facts.

DSP: She has already suffered so much. Do not misuse her. She doesn't know who this man is. She can't see or hear and she still doesn't know who this man was.

Even though she struggles to speak, the rape survivor confirms she was threatened by the accused. "He threatened me to not tell anybody. He said he will beat up my mother and father if I said anything," the rape survivor said.

Even the DSP accepted that the landlord was in the house, drinking liquor, when the rape happened. "He never raped her. But yes, I agree, he was in the house, consuming alcohol," the DSP said.

In the house where the crime was committed, there are 12 rooms which are all rented out. But strangely, all the tenants who are possible witnesses in the case, have vacated their rooms after the rape incident. The clothes that the girl was wearing were never collected by the police and they still lie bundled up at her home.

Even the District Collector hasn't come forward to help. "The DC is shirking off her responsibility and expects our NGO to do everything to help the victim," said an activist of All India Democratic Women's Association Activist (AIDWAA).

After she was brutalised, the girl fought for her life in a government hospital for 11 days only to face a bigoted police system that is insensitive to her trauma, threatens her parents and shields the accused.

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