A 19-year-old UPSC aspirant was brutally gang-raped for three hours at a busy area of Bhopal on 31 October, as per reports.
The spot where she was raped has some of the busiest roads and rail tracks — Habibganj station is just 100 metres away, and an RPF post only 50 meters away.
A complaint has been registered against the rapists, but the entire process from the start to the end has been a harrowing one – from bureaucratic red-tapism to mockery, they faced it all.
All the four accused, identified as rag pickers, have been arrested.
The unfortunate incident
The survivor is a daily commuter from her hometown to Bhopal; it is just a one-hour long journey. She travels to Bhopal for her coaching classes for UPSC.
On the evening of 31 October, around 7 pm, was walking along the railway tracks towards the Habibganj railway station. It was at this juncture when a man, now identified as Golu Bihari Chadar, grabbed her by her hand.
She instantly resisted him but kicking him, but Golu called out to his accomplice, Amar Ghuntu. Both them dragged her to a nullah. All this while, the survivor had been fighting them relentlessly; she hit them with a stone as well.
Golu out on bail after being charged in her infant daughter’s murder
This angered the ruffians. They hit her back with the stone, tied her up and raped her.
After that, Golu went to fetch gutka and cigarettes, as Amar was put on guard.
The girl had asked for some clothes as hers had got torn. Golu brought her some clothes but also brought along two other men. Rajesh and Ramesh allegedly joined the duo to rape the girl; this went on till 10 pm.
The girl was then ‘allowed’ to dress up and leave but not before she handed them over her earrings, phone and watch.
The equally horrifying aftermath
The survivor, somehow, managed to walk to the nearest Railway Protection Force (RPF) outpost at Habibganj station and called her parents. Her father, who was already looking for her, took her home.
But the 19-year-old’s ordeal did no end there. The next morning when the family had gone to MP Nagar police station, sub-inspector went to check the spot and told them to go to Habibganj police station. Staff from Habibganj police station redirected them to Habibganj GRP. As if so much harassment was not enough – an officer at the GRP mocked the girl, saying she was “making up a filmy story”.
While the family was returning from the GRP, the survivor spotted two of the rapists loitering in front of Mansarowar Complex, around 500 metres from the spot of crime. They chased and caught hold of the rapists and handed them over to GRP Habibganj.
GRP superintendent of police Anita Malviya, however, denied any delay on their part in registering the case. “Nobody met us immediately after the crime. Habibganj police station informed us about it at 7 pm on Wednesday, and the case was registered within half an hour. We have arrested all the four accused,” she reportedly said.
The Logical Indian Take
The survivor’s father is a sub-inspector with a security force and mother with the CID. Even then, they faced this abominable behaviour by the custodians of law and order.
The survivor’s mother said in a dejected tone, “It’s one of the worst experiences of my life. If I, as a policewoman, have to face such problems in filing my daughter’s gangrape complaint, I can’t imagine what a common man goes through.”
However, this part of the problem is still out in the open and people to talk about this.
A more dangerous and not- talked- of problem is how we do not waste any time to falsify and mock at the complainant when a case of sexual harassment is brought forward.
The officer at Habibganj GRP found the harrowing experience of the 19-year-old similar to the plot of a cinema. Is this the right way to approach a problem when sexual harassment and violence is a burning reality?
The first reaction to any complaint, still, is to question the assault survivor.
In a country where patriarchy is rife, is it justified to continuously draw the focus away from the issue of harassment to, instead, the credibility of the complainant?
The Logical Indian condemns the insensitive attitude of the police officers and urges the authorities to look into the matter and ensure that proper justice is meted out to the survivor.