The protesters have given the schoolgirl rape victim a name — Gudia — but to her family she was “anmol (a precious child)”. The Himachal Pradesh girl, whose rape and murder has sparked several rounds of protests in an otherwise calm Shimla, was the youngest of six daughters of farmer Keshav Ram.
The family lives in Shirguli village. The girl’s cousin Sneha said: “She was pretty and a confident girl. Wo beti thi anmol (she was a precious daughter).” Manu, one of the victim’s sisters who was at Friday’s protests in Theog, said: “She often used to say, ‘Papa, you will see. I will do something different in my life’. We never dreamt her fate would take her to such a barbaric and gruesome end….”
She said: “We will go to any extent to get justice. Her life has been cut short by some beasts and whatever police did was like rubbing salt in our wounds. Her violators are still moving freely. The SIT is a farce. It has booked petty Nepali labourers and a few others…. Had they been involved, they could have fled to Nepal.”
Manu debunked the police’s version that the girl took a lift in the goods carrier that was being driven by one of the accused, Raju, and on which four of the other suspects were riding. “I know my sister well. She never used to take a lift even from known people. Why would she jump into the vehicle?” she asked.