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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Mentally and physically challenged minor brutally assaulted and raped in front of her bed-ridden mother: Malappuram, Kerala

The raped of a mentally and physically challenged 17-year-old minor girl has been reported from Malappuram, Kerala. What is worse, the minor was brutally raped and then threatened in front of her bed-ridden mother. The accused, Shihab alias Muttalan Shihab has a history of violence. He is currently in police custody.

Media reports confirmed that Shihab threatened witnesses and they now fear his coming out on bail. The rapist who has a history of violence and police cases threatened a neighbor of the victim with dire consequences. That neighbor was the one who stood up and informed the police about the rape that Shihab had committed.

This prompted the victim and her mother to fear for their own life and they approached the media. Though the incident proved to be the most horrible of atrocities against the weakest of the weak, the mainstream media shunned the incident (until the victims themselves reached out) and no live talk shows were produced.

The victim and her mother live in a run-down house near Areekode in Malappuram district. The victim’s mother suffers from serious health issues and the mentally and physically challenged daughter is the only one in the house to help. She has to help her mother to even reach the washroom. 

It is with horror that the victim narrated what happened that night, things that she does not want to remember in her life. She said she locked the door and they went to bed. At 2 in the morning, Shihab kicked open the front door and entered the room. 

The young girl felt fear and trembled when she saw Shihab’s silhouette. She got up and shouted out to her mother but all that the lady could do was watch. Shihab tried to choke her and covered her mouth and nose. She gasped for breath and Shihab thought she was dead. As he loosened his grip, the young girl escaped from his clutches and ran outside. 

Shihab chased her down and brutally beat her till she had wounds all over her body. The victim said that she begged him not to ruin her life but he showed no mercy. He dragged her inside and raped her even as the mother watched. Despite knowing that her daughter was being abused nearby, the exhausted mother could only cry helplessly. He threatened to kill them if they informed anyone about the rape and assault. 

The victim said that this is not the first time that Shihab had raped her. A neighbor informed the police and Shihab who is accused in several cases was taken into police custody. It is then that someone called the neighbor (who had complained) and told him that he would be killed if he testified against Shihab.

The least that society as a whole can do to atone for the atrocities committed on this girl and her mother is to provide the family with a safe and secure house. Unless guards are appointed, this family will not survive long. Our legal system and police force have let us down. Though the identity of the victim remains unknown, they look Hindu from their appearance.

Since the incident did not happen in Uttar Pradesh or Gujarat and since the rapist is a Muslim man, the feminist lobby/ activists remained mute. Imagine the outburst that would have followed had a so-called Sanghi committed the same crime against a Muslim in Lucknow.

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