A loan of Rs 30,a pair of new slippers and a set of bangles ruined the life of a Dalit 18-year-old woman,who was allegedly gangraped by four youths for three days since September 28 at Gohana tehsil in Sonepat district. Now,with her husband and in-laws disowning her,she is living with her parents,awaiting justice.
The victim married a Panipat district resident in May this year. On September 13,she had come to spend a few days with her parents at Banwasa village in Gohana. On September 28,her sister-in-law told her that her husband wanted her to return home.
I told her that I did not have any money or shoes. She gave me new slippers,Rs 30 and a set of bangles and said that a man will meet me at the Gohana railway crossing and take me to my husband in Panipats Idana village. I reached Gohana,where the man took me to a car,where three others were already waiting. I felt uncomfortable and wanted to get off the car,but one of them put a handkerchief on my face. I felt drowsy. For three days,they kept me in a small shed in a village field and raped me. They used to give me food and some tablets. Later,they dumped me at Panipat railway station from where the police recovered me, the victim said.
She added: I still have the bangles and the slippers but where do I wear them and for whom? My husband has refused to take me with him. My parents are also accusing me. While her father works as a labourer,her younger sister and a brother study in the village school.
These criminals should have killed my daughter. Her survival is death for our family. Society will not allow her to live. Her in-laws have disowned her and how long can we keep her? asked the victims mother.
A Jat-dominant village,around 300 Dalits families stay on the outskirts of Banwasa. The victims family has virtually been boycotted by their own community. While the sarpanch is a woman,her husband is considered to be the defacto sarpanch. The family will have to remarry her. There is no other option. If the girls in-laws have disowned her,nobody can do anything. The girl cannot be kept at home, the sarpanchs husband said.
When contacted,the victims husband said: How can anybody accept a woman who has been raped? My parents and relatives will never allow such a woman to stay with me. Traditions and customs need to be respected and strictly followed.
His father added: Her parents told us about the incident. She has lost her respect and can never gain it back. There is no question of bringing her back to the family.
Though on the basis of complaint lodged by the victim and her family,the police have arrested all the four accused,the sister-in-law has been let off. We had arrested the four boys who raped the girl,and her sister-in-law,who allegedly tried to push her into sex racket but the victim later changed her statement, said Sub-Inspector Ram Rattan,investigating officer of the case.