A differently-abled rape survivor and her mother in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi, attempted self-immolation on Monday, December 28, as they feared attack from the accused and his family.
The mother drenched herself and her daughter in kerosene at Thoothukudi collectorate and tried to set themself ablaze. The onlookers and the police stopped them before it could turn into an unfortunate incident.
According to the mother's complaint, the victim was sexually assaulted on December 14, in their village in Vilathikulam taluk, when she and her husband were away from home. The mother works as a farm labourer, while the father works at a tyre puncture workshop.
The accused R Ayyappan, 36, raped the girl and threatened to murder her two younger siblings if she disclosed the incident to anyone.
The mother added that the accused repeatedly assaulted her daughter. The family came to know about the incident from their son who caught Ayyappan in the act and raised an alarm on December 14.
The son managed to record the accused leaving their house on a relative's smartphone. The Vilathikulam All Women Police later booked Ayyappan under sections of the POCSO Act and was arrested at Tirupur three days after the incident, on December 17.
The mother alleged that some villagers and Panchayat representatives were trying to bail out Ayyapan.
Ayyapan's brother is in the police department and has connections with the Panchayat representatives.
The family has reportedly been receiving threats from the accused and his family. "We are going to end our lives if we don't get justice. The accused should not be getting bail. What is the purpose of living in fear every day? My daughter is spending sleepless nights and wakes up in the middle of the night due to the trauma she underwent after she was repeatedly raped and threatened," the mother was quoted as saying.