A 14-year-old rape victim, who was found six months pregnant earlier this week in Mehsana district, north Gujarat, has written a letter to the police desiring to deliver the baby. This is a fresh case where a minor girl was allegedly raped by four of her second cousins over the past several months.
The Mehsana police lodged an FIR against four youths who allegedly raped the girl following which she conceived. According to police, the girl is living with her father, a farm labourer, and a brother who is blind. Police said that the girl’s mother passed away long back and there is no one in the family to take care of her.
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“We have received a letter from the girl saying that she wants to keep the baby. Her father has also told us that his daughter doesn’t want to abort,” said police sub-inspector K B Patel.
According to Patel, he sought opinion from civil doctors at Mehsana who have said that the case must be referred to the Ahmedabad civil hospital where a similar case was dealt with recently.
Patel said that a panel of doctors at civil hospital, Ahmedabad will decide what to do with the rape victim’s pregnancy. He said that the case should be dealt with considering the girl’s poor background and her tender age.
He said that the girl belongs to other backward class (OBC) and is financially backward. “She had been admitted to Mehsana civil hospital two days ago. She doesn’t have money to even to feed herself. Her father is a daily wager who works in farms,” Patel said.
According to the FIR, the girl was first raped by one of her cousins in the farm where she used to go for picking woods. Following the first incident, three other accused, who all are her second cousins, took advantage of this and raped her.
The pregnancy was detected when her father sought help of a untrained midwife locally known as “daayan” who revealed the girl was pregnant, police said. In the past couple of months, this is the fourth such case of women with rape-induced pregnancies. In the case of a 14-year-old student from Sabarkantha district, the doctors at civil hospital performedan abortion procedure after being 24 weeks pregnant following a Supreme Court direction. Previously, a gangrape victim from Botad district was denied abortion by the Gujarat High Court who delivered the baby.
In another case in Meghaninagar, Ahmedabad, a local court allowed a woman with schizophrenia who had a 14-week pregnancy from rape, to abort the child because she was incapable of looking after it.