Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Dalit teenager kidnapped and brutally raped for 3 days

Rajan Mahan

Tuesday, April 23, 2002 (Jaipur):

For several years, Rajasthan has recorded the highest number of crimes against women in the country. In a recent incident, a young Dalit girl was kidnapped and raped for three days, allegedly by four upper caste men.

On the night of April 5, when this girl stepped out of her home in Jaipur's Guda Vaas village, she was kidnapped by four Brahmin youngsters of her own village.

"They forcibly grabbed me and took me away. They threatened me with a knife and stopped me from shouting for help. I was totally scared as they said that if I shout, they would kill me," narrated the traumatized girl.

Conspiracy of silence

The rapists finally dumped her outside her village on April 8. But upper caste groups in the village prevented her family from even filing a report by threatening them with a social boycott.

Chottu Lal, one of the girl�s relatives, said, "The village elders said we must not file any report. They said if we did so and tried to fight a case, we would not be allowed to stay in the village. They said they would not maintain any relations with us and would not allow even our cattle to drink water from the village sources. They threatened us very badly."

However after pressure from some women's groups, the police have finally registered an FIR. But with the entire village involved in a conspiracy of silence, the police are finding it tough to collect any evidence.

A G Ram, In-charge, Ramgarh Police Station, Jaipur, said, "Our big problem is that since the incident happened many days ago, we can't get any medical evidence now. And the villagers are just refusing to say anything about this episode."

Worse still, the girl's marriage had been fixed last month, but her in-laws have now cancelled the wedding. Her tragedy is a grim reminder that in rural Rajasthan, the traditional fear and terror of upper castes continues unabated even today.

Source: NDTV, April 23, 2002


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