With her uncle gone, she does not want to continue the legal battle as the family has no money
It is better to withdraw the case than face legal hassles of court and police station. There is no surety of food or money, fighting the case is unthinkable for us.
They offered us a sum of ₹25,000. Despite our need, we could only accept ₹5,000. I fear if we had kept the entire sum, someone would have murdered or robbed us.
NEWDELHI:Hours after her uncle was found hanging, a 20-yearold blind woman, who was allegedly raped in a shanty in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh two weeks ago, said she wanted to withdraw the case.
HT FILE PHOTOThe survivor had said she believed two to three men had raped her on May 6.The dead man, a rickshaw puller, was the sole bread winner of the family that included the fatherless rape survivor and her 55-year-old mother. The survivor said that with her uncle gone she did not want to continue the legal battle as the family does not have the resources to meet their basic needs.
“Ab humara koi hai nahi, toh hum gaon chale jayenge (Now that we have no support, we will go back to our village),” she said, adding, “Police have done what they could, it is better to withdraw the case than face legal hassles of court and police station. There is no surety of food or money, fighting the case is unthinkable.”
The man was found hanging around 5am on Thursday from the tree under which their makeshift shanty stands. The rape survivor’s mother said the police and staff of a nearby government mortuary left with the body and there has been no communication since.
“We do not know how to claim the body. We need someone. We think we will let the body be counted as an unclaimed one, and be cremated by the police,” the survivor’s mother said.
The girl was allegedly raped on May 4, when her mother had gone to fetch water from a nearby restaurant and her uncle was away at work.
As told by the victim, a few men tried to lure her with a treat. They allegedly dragged her into the neighbouring shanty when she resisted and raped her.
The survivor had said that she believed two to three men took turns to rape her for over 20 minutes. She said they kept her mouth pressed to ensure she did not scream. Police had, however, claimed that the rape was committed by one man while two others stood guard outside. When the suspects let her go, the survivor crawled back to her jhuggi where her mother found her weeping.
The victim’s mother on Thursday said that after the crime, a team from Delhi Commission for Women had visited them.
“They offered us a sum of Rs 25,000. Despite our need, we could only accept Rs 5,000. I fear if we had kept the entire sum, someone would have murdered us or robbed us. That money, we were told, was deposited in an account. But we don’t know how to handle a bank account… can’t even dial 100 or contact our relatives if an emergency arises,” the rape survivor’s mother said, adding that she will regret leaving her daughter alone that day.
The girl, meanwhile, has not been counselled after the rape. “No one came here. We had to go to the police station a few times and a team of women cops assisted us. Since then there has been no communication,” she said.
The survivor, who is youngest of five siblings, had lost sight in both her eyes soon after she turned five. She studied up to Class 4 and dropped out as she could not study due to loss of eyesight.
Victim yet to get any rehab, protection
NEW DELHI:Just seven kilometres from Lutyens’ Delhi, the 20-yearold blind woman who was allegedly raped near her shanty in Karol Bagh two weeks ago awaits rehabilitation and protection. The survivor said after her uncle’s alleged suicide, she and her mother do not have the resources to pursue a legal battle.
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal had visited the victim six days after the alleged rape and offered her monetary aid. The mother-daughter duo told her they did not accept the ₹25,000 cash as “such a huge amount of money” could have put their lives in danger.
“It is really sad to learn that her uncle committed suicide. I had met her and an immediate compensation of ₹25,000 was offered to the victim and her family. Since they did not have any account, we are in the process of getting an account opened. They do not have an Aadhaar card or basic documents so the process is taking time,” Maliwal said.
Such monetary benefits are now assured to victims of sexual assault, under the ‘Compensation Scheme for women Victims/ Survivors of Sexual Assault/ other Crimes-2018,’ which was given the nod by the Supreme Court earlier this week. The scheme recommends ₹5-10 lakh compensation for victims of gang rape and in cases of loss of life. It also recommends up to ₹4-7 lakh for victims of rape.
Nipun Saxena, the lawyer who had filed a PIL in 2012 asking for measures to curb sexual assault and compensate victims, said the SC-approved scheme would bring about “a uniformity regarding the quantum of compensation and the manner in which it will be disbursed.”
The scheme does not, however, address the victims’ social rehabilitation and safety.
Maliwal said she had written to a blind school to get the survivor inducted there. “I have also moved an application in court to get the victim and her family adequate compensation.”
Ranjana Kumari, one of the gender experts who presented arguments before the Justice Verma Commission that was set up post the 2012 gang rape, expressed concern for the safety and security of the victim. “Since the victim is blind, the first thing she requires is protection. The other suspects in the case, who she alleges were let off, can cause her harm. The first thing police should have done is to move her to a care centre.”
Former police special commissioner Vimla Mehra said the police might not be able to arrange accommodation for the victim, but they should provide her protection.
“We have not received any such complaint by the victim or her mother that they feel unsafe or are at any risk. If any such information is received, adequate measures will be taken,” said DCP central, MS Randhawa.