Four women who were allegedly gangraped on the Jewar-Bulandshahr highway expressed anger at the police for “ruling out rape” based on a preliminary medical examination conducted by the district administration. “Apni izzat khud kaun uchalega? (Why would we want to shame ourselves?)” the women told The Sunday Express. “Agar jo humne report mein kaha hai woh galat nikla, toh hum char apne bachon ko lekar mitti ka tel daal kar jal jayenge (If our allegations are proved false, we will gather our children and immolate ourselves),” said one of the women, whose brother was killed in the incident.
She claimed she had told police the same thing on Friday, when they had gone to court to record their statements. On Saturday, the women went to Noida to record their statements before the magistrate and the women’s commission. Police said a forensic team had visited the crime scene to look for evidence . “We are not doubting the charges,” Love Kumar, SSP, Gautam Buddha Nagar, had said on Friday.
The alleged incident took place late Wednesday night, when eight members of a family left their Jewar residence to visit a pregnant relative at a hospital in Bulandshahr. Around 1.40 am, their vehicle broke down near Sabota village after something hit its wheels. That’s when five-six men allegedly attacked them with weapons.
The victims were taken into nearby fields, police said. The women told police that the men were tied up and made to lie on the ground, while they were allegedly gangraped by the accused. On Friday, officials had said that preliminary medical examination conducted by the district administration had not found any signs of sexual assault on the women’s bodies or clothes. However, he added that vaginal swabs had been sent for forensic examination to a Lucknow lab.
Sitting on a charpoy on their terrace, the women said the relative accompanying them was killed because he tried to fend off the attackers. “They beat up the men and then came to us. They robbed us and snatched our dupattas. They tried to rip our clothes off. When we resisted, they beat us up,” alleged one woman, lifting the sleeve of her kurta to show blue marks on her arms.
Another alleged, “I told them, if you want money, come and take it from our home but don’t rape us. They did not listen, and groped and raped me. My brother-in-law shouted at them and they shot him.”
Some in the family alleged attempts were being made to discredit the women as no headway had been made in tracking down the accused.