Capital city Delhi's police offered the father of a five-year-old survivor of abduction and rape $38 in hush-money to forget the brutal assault, unleashing rage across a country battling with rising rape cases.
The five-year-old was brutally raped in Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar locality over a period of four days allegedly by her neighbor. The girl had gone missing on April 14, and the incident came to light on April 19, 2013.
According to regional language news reports, the family members and neighbors searched for the missing girl on their own for a day, and incidentally the accused neighbor, also pretended to help in this search. Since no leads could be found during that day, a case for missing person was registered with the local police station on April 15, 2013.
Nearly four days while the search was still on, the girls father heard a voice from a room below. Consequently, the police was called and the lock was broken. The girl was found in a deplorable condition and the accused had absconded.
The details of this rape, like the December 2012 Delhi-gang rape case (see Global Voices report), are horrific. Medical investigations confirmed that the girl was sexually assaulted – a plastic bottle of oil and a candle was found in the girls stomach.
However, the troubles for the girls family did not stop here – police and governmental apathy followed.
Reports suggest that the girls father was discouraged from filing the complaint, and was offered Rs 2000 (equivalent to 38 dollars) as a price for not going public.
The gravity of the incident and the police and governmental response to it has enraged many.
Shuddhabrata Sengupta at Kafila expresses his rage:
Must Delhi’s police commissioner not be compelled to resign, for his abysmal failure in terms of dealing with sexism and for failing to address the contempt for citizens that is now clearly endemic to the Delhi Police’s work culture?
Can we take this daily routine of insults lying down? How long can this continue?
@V1SH4L: What on earth is India coming to? The police now offers hush-money to parents whose little daughters are raped!? Those cops need to be hung!
@PritishNandy: Remember Justice Mulla's famous words: There is no criminal force in India that can compare with the crimes of the Indian police force.
In his another tweet, he reminded about the existing lackadaisical attitude in the Indian administration:
Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai), an entertainment editor, expressed her dismay at such an attitude:
@MasalaBai: Whom do you go to when your police says ‘be grateful that she (raped child) was found alive'? What is your recourse as a powerless citizen?
To add insult to injury, the girl was treated at an ill-equipped municipal hospital and only moved to a better hospital after much public pressure and protests. The five-year-old girl is reportedly in a very critical condition.
Women have reacted strongly to the gross nature of physical harm done to the girl.
R sheikh Bawazir (@Lucifer_sam666), an architect, educator, and photographer wrote:
@Lucifer_sam666: Kill that bastard, what kind a sick man would insert a 200 ML bottle inside a 5 year old child, I'm beyond tears.
@ArunodayM: Delhi 2011: 572 cases of rape. 2012: Rape cases increase to 706 and molestation cases rise to 727. Dreading the end of 2013 #Delhirape
Taking this into account, an Indian twitter user Kapil (@kapsology) wrote:
@kapsology: Anti-rape law ka achaar daal lo jab police hi aisi hai toh
@kapsology: What use is an anti-rape law if the behavior of police is untrustworthy
A steady out-pour of dismay is being expressed on social media against Indian police and governmental apathy since the incident came to light.