June 7th, 2017
On the midnight of May 29, a 23-year-old woman’s daughter of eight months was snatched from her arms and thrown out of an auto-rickshaw by three men, who then gang-raped her for hours.
The incident happened in Gurugram, as reported by The Times of India, while the woman was on her way to her parents’ house in Khandsa late at night. After she was assaulted and brutally raped, she returned back to pick up her child lying in the middle of the road.
She first took her baby to a hospital in Gurugram where she was declared dead.
Devastated and unwilling to accept her daughter’s demise, she travelled on the metro with her dead baby in her arms to a hospital in Delhi for a second opinion.
When the second hospital confirmed the death, the woman returned on the metro to MG Road, where she was picked up by her husband, say the police.
She filed a case of murder and molestation on May 30.
Gurgaon police commissioner Sandeep Khirwar admitted that the woman travelled with her dead child in the metro the morning after her assault.
“Her husband and the Gurgaon police received the victim from the MG Road Metro station after she returned from the hospital in Delhi. The police conducted a post-mortem of the infant,” said Khirwar.
On June 6, PTI reported that the police have released sketches of the three men and appealed to the public to come forward in case of any information.
The woman reportedly told the police that she took a ride on a truck after she left her home in a village with her baby daughter. As she was molested by the truck driver, she got off and took the auto, where the three men threw her wailing baby on the road and gang-raped her for four hours.
The baby, cops say, died of head injuries.
The police have detained at least 50 auto-rickshaw drivers and also arrested some. A special investigation team has also been set up to find the rapists of the woman and the murderers of the eight-month-old baby.
The Logical Indian take
The 23-year-old woman’s rape and her daughter’s murder comes just weeks after another woman, 22, from Sikkim was kidnapped and gang-raped in a moving car by three men and thrown on the road as she was returning from Connaught Place, Delhi to her residence in Gurugram.
It is unfortunate that such cases of inhuman conduct, though dismal, don’t shock us anymore.
Only last month, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction and death penalty of Jyoti Singh’s rapists and murders. The court also upheld life imprisonment of 11 men accused of the gang-rape of Bilkis Bano.
Despite the harsh punishment that rape invites, nothing stopped the three men from brutally raping the 23-year-old woman and killing her daughter.
Before the incident, she was also molested by a truck driver, only to get off his vehicle and enter a harsher, more painful, fate.
Her rape is a reminder of our society’s perception of women – as objects that are meant to satisfy men’s sexual needs without raising any rebuttal.
The fact is, we live in a rape culture. Open any newspaper on any given day and multiple reports of rape or sexual assault pour out. The sheer volume of these incidents points to its acceptance by a major section of our population – as if rape were a systematic problem in our country.
But the average rapist does not understand the flaws in this. What he does understand is a ‘woman’s place in this world.
It is necessary that the Indian society moves toward a discourse where we discuss such patriarchy around us. Even as harsh punishments are given to sexual offenders, educating and changing the mindset of the people is crucial.