5-year-old raped, but no arresting even after a fortnight, in Bengal

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Kolkata: At a time when we all are glad that the Supreme Court has upheld the judgment in Nirbhaya gang-rape case, about 305 kilometers away from Kolkata, a mother has been running from the pillar to post to get justice for her five-year-old child sex abuse survivor.

Her daughter was raped by a 21-year-old neighbor.

“On June 24, we saw her with a lot of expensive chocolates with her. I initially thought that she had stolen it from somewhere, as we can’t afford such chocolates. So, we began to scold her and my wife began searching her to check if she had chocolates hidden in her dress, she discovered that her pants were soaked with blood. A little coaxing and interrogation on what happened revealed that my daughter had been lured for chocolate and raped by our neighbour’s son,” narrated the father of the victim, who makes a living as a daily wage labour. With the news spreading, the locals assembled outside girl’s home and gheraoed the house of the accused.

The father further said, “Three men entered his house and talked to the boy, who admitted to his crime. Someone from the locality even called the police, who came and made me sign in a blank paper, stating that they would need my signature to file the FIR.”

“However, then came the U-turn and everyone wanted us to settle the matter amicably, via a kangaroo court, which just kept postponing the hearing. The accused, we have come to know has been shifted elsewhere,” he added.

And when there is a national outrage about the increasing number of rape and sexual abuse cases in India, the neighbours of this family are keen on taking a middle way out and police is slow, alleges the family. Speaking to eNewsroom, the mother said, “We don’t want a mutual settlement. I want to go to the court and seek justice for my daughter. The society wants us to go for a mutual. But if we go for that, what will be the outcome. The accused family will be asked to pay compensation and the boy will be let off. My daughter will not get any justice.”

Bangla Sanskriti Manch, a  non-governmental organization working for the human right issues stood with the family, to get things moving legally. “Both the society and the police were of the opinion that the matter is resolved amicably. But the parents want justice and not monetary compensation. The fact that they are economically weak, making things worse for the family,” said Samirul Islam, President of BSM.

“The boy is yet to be arrested, despite the FIR having been registered on June 25,” Samirul said and added that the medical test of the girl has been done 72 hours after the girl had been violated.

“The child had refused to get examined at the Kaliachak hospital. So, another medical checkup was scheduled at the Malda Hospital. But the survivor was not called the next day. Only after we made the girl’s parent call up the police station that she was taken for a medical test.” Another activist associated with the Manch, alleged, “When we went to the police station, seeking permission to take out a rally, we were threatened in a subtle way.”

When contacted, the Malda SP, Arnab Ghosh, however, refuted all the allegations. He said, “The investigation is on and we are doing the needful.” On being asked about the girl’s medical test report and if any the accused had been arrested, he said, “The matter is being probed, we can’t reveal much.”

In the interim, the victim had been produced before the magistrate, where she has had her statement recorded. A case under the POCSO Act has been initiated.

SBM, had also organized a protest rally in Kolkata against the rise of Gender Violence and child sex abuse, and demanding justice for the 5-year-old CSA survivor from Malda.

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