We hear of women empowerment almost every hour these days in India. And still there is this one woman who has been gang-raped and harassed not once but twice. Currently a resident of Rohtak, the survivor is a student of 21 years and is fighting to get justice for the first time she was raped in 2013 in Bhiwani. The accused- a gang of five (Anil alias Bittu, Raju alias Jagmohan, Sandeep Singh, Mausam Kumar and Aakash), raped her, then when she filed a case, tried to bribe her and bully the family to leave Bhiwani where the family originally belonged. When they saw that the woman isn’t giving in to their threats, they tracked her down to Rohtak, where the family moved to after Bhiwani and raped her again on Wednesday last week.
The girl had just left her University campus in afternoon when the rapists forced her in a car and assaulted her for the second time. The girl was thrown out on the roads in an unconscious state and her clothes ruined and torn.
“I got scared seeing them. They forcefully pushed me inside the car. They were the same men, who had raped me earlier,” the survivor said in her police statement as reported by The Telegraph.
The girl herself went through devastation but was also told that her brother and father would be killed if she doesn’t take her complaint back.
In a democratic country where we have specific laws for every crime, is it so difficult for the state authorities to nab five small town men accused of a heinous crime like gang rape? Does it really take three years to solve a case where the accused are moving freely and openly threatening the girl’s family over and over again? While two men from the gang were even arrested, they were released on bail. How easy is it for a rape accused to get a bail and be free again? These are some of the questions that come to my mind.
Another aspect that I spared to disclose here is that the girl belongs to a Dalit family. And in the gang of five, two men also belong to the Dalit community while the other three are from the so-called upper caste. A classic case of how caste impacts justice in the country is this, in my opinion. So the survivor is not just a girl who can be raped, but also a dalit who can be further oppressed.
These men are young educated adults in their late twenties who graduated from the same university that the girl is currently studying in. While four of the gang members either have their own businesses or working for private firms, only one is jobless. With a strong demography of a large percentage of youth that the country has, if men are still growing up with patriarchy up on their sleeves, the future that we see of sustainable development with gender equality and all, I am afraid, might just remain a dream.
Feature Image Credit: Indianexpress.com