Four years after a mentally challenged girl was gangraped at Nari Niketan,Sector 26 in Chandigarh,a local court on Monday awarded 10 years rigorous imprisonment to all the nine accused in the case.
Terming them as monsters and refusing to show any leniency,the Court of Preeti Sahni,Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADJ),awarded ten years rigorous imprisonment to the nine accused. These include women staff of Nari Niketan,a home for the destitute.
The accused do not deserve any leniency. It is a matter of great shame and regret that the persons who were entrusted with the duty of looking after such fellows became monsters and took advantage of their positions in those institutes and thereby ravished the poor helpless and mentally retarded girl. They had ravished her not only physically,but took advantage of her mental weakness, said the court.
The agony which she had undergone cannot be imagined. The act committed by them not only ravished her but made her pregnant also. Moreover,the present case is an eye-opener to society and shows how the affairs are going in these institutes which are meant for the welfare of destitute persons. If the persons at the helm of the affair were diligent,then this untoward incident perhaps could be avoided. So they do not deserve leniency, the court ruled.
The Chandigarh Police had registered a case of rape on May 18,2008,after the mentally challenged girl,who was then a minor,was found to be pregnant.
Inquiries revealed that she had been raped by several staff members and that the rape was abetted and assisted by women workers of Nari Niketan.
On July 17,2009,a division bench of the High Court had ruled that the victims pregnancy be medically terminated promptly and forthwith.
However,advocate Tanu Bedi,co amicus curiae in the case,had moved the Supreme Court demanding a stay.
A Bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India,Justice K G Balakrishnan had,on July 21,2009 stayed the High Court order.
The victim was then in her 20th week of pregnancy.
On December 4,2009,she gave birth to a girl child who was later named Pari.
The duo are at present being looked after by the Chandigarh Administration in Ashreya,Sector 47.
The nine convicted
Bhupinder Singh (55)
The first person to be arrested in the case,Bhupinder worked as a security guard at the shelter housed in Nari Niketan compound. He allegedly lured the victim by promising to marry her. Even after the victim was shifted to Ashreya on March 13,2009,Bhupinder reportedly raped her. He went to the Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children (GIMRC) in Sector 32,where the victim went to study,and raped her in the toilet. A resident of Maloya,Bhupinder hails from Jandiala in Amritsar.
The sweeper-cum-attendant at Nari Niketan allegedly lured the victim by making her believe that she would be married to Bhupinder. Kamla,who lives in Sector 30,hails from Dharamgarh in Panipat. She was the second accused arrested.
The nurse-cum-attendant,who maintained the health records of the inmates,reportedly assisted the men. She hails from Shanti Nagar in Manimajra.
Bijender Singh (38)
Bijender and Bhupinder allegedly took the victim to a bathroom in the shelter and raped her. Bijender was a chowkidar at the shelter. He hails from Tehri Garhwal,Uttarakhand.
Jamna Kumar Rana (54)
The security guard at Nari Niketan allegedly took the victim to the toilet inside the guard-room near the main gate and raped her,while Maya stood guard outside. Rana hails from Nepal.
Chhotu Ram (32)
The security guard at Ashreya allegedly first raped the girl on March 15,two days after she was shifted from Nari Niketan. Chhotu,who hails from Kangra,was arrested on December 23 last year when his DNA matched that of the newborn baby.
Bhagwandin Yadav (31)
The attendant to the only male inmate at Ashreya allegedly raped the victim in the toilet. He had access to the victim because he was always present in the building. He was arrested on December 26. He hails from Faizabad in UP and lives in the Industrial Area.
Naresh Kumar (30)
A driver employed at GIMRC,Naresh stayed in Halfway Home,located in the campus of Ashreya,where he did odd jobs. He frequently visited the inmates rooms,and allegedly raped the victim. A resident of Mohali,he was arrested on January 12,2010.
Davinder Singh (24)
The attendant in the male wing of Ashreya was arrested with Naresh on January 12 on charges of raping the victim. A resident of Mauli Jagran,Davinder was employed in Ashadeep in Sector 31 when he was arrested.