How many times has it happened that you have a heavy bag after your coaching classes or tuitions or even job and you don’t feel like walking home? You decide to take a short cut home- the alley might be a bit shady, but well; you would be able to sit in your favourite corner at home that much sooner.
This lalach of home and rest makes us take shortcuts. A 19-year-old girl in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh too took a short cut, at about 7pm on Tuesday, 31st October. And she was gang raped by four men.The survivor is a 19-year-old girl from the district of Vidisha is an UPSC aspirant. She was walking towards Habibganj railway station. And the irony is that she was just 40 metres from a railway police post.
She usually took a train from the station to her hometown, about an hour away, after her classes for civil service exam coaching. But she took a short cut on Tuesday.
Golu Bihari, who is out in bail in the murder of his daughter his brother-in-law Amar Bhuntu were drinking when they saw, attacked and dragged her towards a naali. The girl kicked the two men and tried to defend herself, which just fuelled their anger. Golu had just been released from jail. He was in prison for having murdered his own daughter.
They took a break from raping to have cigarettes and gutka
After fifteen minutes of assaulting the girl, they even took a break and had cigarettes and gutka. Golu went to get them while Amar watched over her.
The survivor begged for clothes because hers had been torn off. Golu got her some clothes, and two more men to rape her. Rajesh and Ramesh, the two men Golu had bought with him, now took turns to rape the girl.
This went on for three hours, till 10 pm. She was allowed to go, after the four accused took her earrings, watch and phone.
The victim walked to the RPF outpost and called her parents. Her father had been out, worried, for the daughter who had not returned home yet. When he found her, his first instinct was to take her home- his daughter was traumatized.
But the trauma did not end here. When the girl went with her father to file an FIR, she had to go through two police stations. When she reached the third, at Habibganj GRP, she was told her story is ‘filmy.’ Her case was not lodged by the police officers.
But the girl took matters into her own hand.
When the police refused to register the case, the girl, with her parents, both of who are sub inspectors themselves left the station. It was then that the girl spotted the accused Golu, not far from where she was raped by him.
The three of them chased him down and managed to nab both Golu and Amar. It was then that the police realized the matter was not ‘filmy’ after all. The accused were booked under Section 376(D)(gangrape), and Section 34 (acts done by several persons for common intention) on the Indian Penal Code.
If a policeman’s daughter is treated like this, what hope others do other have?
The parents of the survivor were traumatized by the callous attitude of the SHO Mohit Saxena and SI Uikey. The girl who had been raped had to nab her own attackers while the police mocked her story.
A few days ago, a survey came out which highlighted the ‘safest’ and ‘most unsafe’ states in India for women. In it, Madhya Pradesh was featured on the lower end of the list. And like proof of this survey, the news of a brutal gang-rape has emerged from Bhopal.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had proposed to bring in legislation for awarding death penalty for raping minors on Madhya Pradesh’s Foundation Day on 1st November. This was just a day after the rape. He has now announced that the case will be examined in a fast track court.
Rape is a traumatizing event. And many survivors don’t even come forward to register cases. Under such circumstances, if the survivor is subjected to such a treatment, it might happen that she might just give up and the rapist walks free.
Because we’re journalists, we’re impatient. We want to gather the news as quickly as possible, using any technological resource available. And when we’re as sure of the story as we can be, we want to share it immediately, in whatever way reaches the most people. The Internet didn’t plant these ideas in our heads. We’ve always been this way.