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Friday, July 26, 2024

Rajasthan Jhalawar rape victim and family suffer police apathy

The Jhalawar rape case that came to light recently has rocked the conscience of the nation. The horrific tale of a 15-year-old being raped repeatedly by different men over a period of 8 days at different locations was reported on 9 March.

Detailing her ordeal, the girl had said that she was drugged, beaten up, and even threatened with dire consequences if she attempted to resist the men who were constantly subjecting her to brutality even as she groaned in pain. She somehow made good her escape and reached her home on March 5 after which she and her family approached the police to file a complaint.

20 people including four minors have been apprehended by the police who have registered a case under IPC Sections 363, 376(D) along with provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the SC/ST Act.

It has been alleged that the victim’s friend Bulbul and Chothmal lured the girl with the promise of buying her a school bag and took her to Jhalawar city on 25 February. There Bulbul is said to have handed over the minor girl to 3-4 young men who confined her in different places across Jhalawar and subjected her to rape by strangers.

Upon her return, the girl narrated the entire sequence of events to her mother. The family launched a police complaint on 6 March and the victim’s statement was recorded before the city magistrate on 9 March. Following this, three teams were formed by the district police under Kota Rural’s SP Paras Jain. SP Jain had earlier issued a media statement confirming the arrest of six of the accused.

Three of them had been identified as Chothmal Mali (20), Pooja Jain alias Bulbul (around 19 to 20), and a minor boy. The three were arrested late on Monday night itself from Suket and Ramganj Mandi areas of Kota district while three other accused identified as Arshad Ayub alias Chinta, Toshif alias Nana and Shahrukh, all residents of Jhalawar district, were arrested by a district special team (DST) from Jawar in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday morning.

Reports of police apathy have emerged with the family complaining that they were turned away by the Rajasthan police when the victim approached them on March 6 to register a complaint against the minor victim’s abductors and rapists.

The victim and her widowed mother had gone to the police station but the police refused to register the complaint. In fact, the victim’s brother is also believed to have approached the police many times to file a complaint following her disappearance but he too was allegedly driven away by the police as per media reports.

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