Rajasthan— In a gut-wrencher in Alwar district of Rajasthan, a 16-year-old girl was allegedly held hostage and gang-raped for four consecutive days by her own blood relatives earlier this week. Four of the accused were her paternal uncles (chacha) while the fifth man is husband of her paternal aunt (foofa) the survivor told the police. The incident has come as a big shock to civil society while the police authorities said they are investigating the case thoroughly to ensure the correctness of allegations.
A case has been registered against the five men under the various provisions of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). The medical examination of the complainant has been held and her statement would be recorded before a magistrate, the medical report is yet to come, the police said. No one has been arrested yet.
The girl went to the Ramgarh police station along with her mother on Wednesday night. She told the cops that she lived with her parents in Bharatpur.
Around a month ago one of her uncles had asked her to live with them temporarily seeking assistance in domestic chores. She had agreed and went to live at his house in Ramgarh. Three other uncles too lived in the same locality. The girl said that uncle's wife and children were not at home as they had gone to their maternal home and On January 6 while she was sleeping in her room, all the five accused men came and gang-raped her.
The girl said that they gagged and held her hostage so that she could not shout for help or run away. They raped her daily for the next four consecutive days. The horror came to light on Wednesday when the girl's mother went to meet her. The woman was worried since she hadn't heard from the daughter for few days and hence went to Alwar to enquire her well-being, she told the police.
The girl narrated the horrendous incident to her mother who managed to rescue the girl and reach the police station.
Speaking to The Mooknayak on the details of the case, the investigating authority and Ramgarh Circle Officer Deshraj said prima facie the minor has laid allegations on her relatives but the truth would be known only after a thorough investigation. Only after the medical examination report comes, the gang rape charges could be established. The girl's statement would be recorded before a magistrate soon and the accused would be interrogated thoroughly, the police officer said.
Looking at the sensitivity of the issue, The Mooknayak sought the opinion of a lady police officer on the case. Putting across her views, Anjana Sukhwal, Addl. SP, Crime & Vigilance, Range office, Udaipur said such cases have to be dealt very sensitively. "As police officers, we have to look at their vulnerability depending on the rape survivor's age and further investigate such cases believing the accusations to be true, until somthing dubious or contradictory things are known. The onus of proving innocence is on the accused themselves. In cases like this where the accused persons happen to be from within the family, their background for eg. previous criminal records, family disputes, rivalries. etc are checked thoroughly. After all the main aim of the investigation is to find the truth and evidences against the accused, if any offence has been made", Anjana asserted.
Sociologist believe one of the hardest behaviors to understand is sexual offences against children by family members. Assistant Professor in Sociology Dr. Rajkumari Ahir claim, minors are powerless group and easy targets of sexual or physical violence. Lack of education, poverty, stress, cultural values and upbringing etc are major reasons for child abuse occurring within a family. Rapes by uncles and cousins often go unreported as people keep it under wraps. She also says ambiguity of laws, incidents of rape accused escaping unscathed are some of the reasons that people aren't afraid of law and dare to commit such heinous crimes.
However, in this case, Rajkumari says, "it would be comparatively easier for the investigators to ascertain the rape charges since the girl says the crime was committed by five men and that too for four continuous days. Her physical as well as mental state would itself reveal the truth".
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