A barbaric and brutal assault was reported on January 28th in the Shahdara area of the National Capital where a 20 years old woman was allegedly abducted, gang-raped, physically and mentally assaulted, paraded in the area with a garland of shoes around her neck, face blackened with ink and her head shaved.
The incident outspread as stated by the survivor’s sister, a 13-year-old boy who claimed to be in love with the survivor who died of suicide in November 2021. The survivor’s family has alleged that the deceased boy kept on stalking the survivor despite her rejecting any of his advances. The family of the boy blames the woman for the death of their son.
According to a report, the victim’s teenage sister was also assaulted by the family of the accused. The report says that a week before the atrocities that were pounded over the survivor, the survivor’s sister had approached the police on 19th January. She articulated in front of the police that she was being constantly troubled by the accused and the family. She claimed that no actions strictly or so were taken by the police. In her report, she mentioned that she and her paralyzed father are living in fear in their own house. She complained that the family of the accused thrashed her and tore her clothes to find the whereabouts of her sister.
The 17 years old sister of the survivor said in her complaint “I was attacked and beaten up on January 19… We had an auto-rickshaw that they burnt down. I used to work at a shop…but they broke in and didn’t let me work. When I stay at home, their women come and thrash me. When I step out, they harass me. I am alone…sir, help me. These people say that they aren’t scared of the police… They don’t let me work or earn any money. How am I supposed to run my house? I am in danger… They threaten me…of modesty and life.”
No actions were taken by the police in response to the complaints made by the sister. Things would have been a lot safer and better for the family if the police paid a single penny of attention to the complaint of the family.
The distressing video of the woman being paraded on the streets of Delhi with a blackened face and the shaved head was also shared by Swati Maliwal, Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women. She alleged that the survivor was abducted from her home and was taken to a house in Kasturba Nagar by the assailants. The accused are known illegal sellers of liquor in the area. In that house, three men raped the survivor. Many women were present in the house at that time and were disturbingly cheering and inciting the men to rape the woman. She was later rescued after her sister called the police.
Delhi police have registered an FIR under different sections of the Indian Penal Code. The FIR includes the sections of gang rape, physical and sexual assault, and criminal conspiracy among others. Nine out of 11 named in the FIR are women and are arrested by the police. The police have said that more arrests would soon be made in the case.
S Sathiyasundaram, Deputy Commissioner Police admitted that a complaint was filed by the sister of the survivor. S Sathiyasundaram said “Amongst the sections that have been invoked are those of molestation, assault, and mischief caused by fire. We are investigating this incident as well and will be taking appropriate action. The accused named in this case are common as those in the recent incident.”
The family lost the mother in 2020 and the father of two sisters is paralyzed and bedridden. The family is shocked and in grief. The father of the survivor said in an interview “The way she was beaten, traumatized, she was blamed wrongly. I don’t care about justice – I want my daughter back home”.
The survivor is the mother of a three-year-old son. The family said that the survivor is not in a mental space to take care of her son. Many false claims are being made on social media that the survivor has tried to take her life and has died by suicide. The police and the authorities have denied all the claims and the rumours and said the woman is with her husband in a home shelter.
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister has called this a shameful act and urged the police to take strict and appropriate actions. Financial assistance of Rs. 10 lakh has been announced for the family of the survivor by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday.
Gruesome incidents like these highlight and raise the question of the position and safety of Women in a society like ours. These incidents also pressurize us to think about the increasing incidents of crimes that arise as a result of the mob mentality. Why isn’t our law and order capable enough to act on the complaints and halt such ferocious incidents from happening in the first place?
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