A girl raped in Bihar writes to Kalam; caste virus 002BH2007
An Indian girl of 14 who was allegedly raped has written to President APJ Abdul Kalam asking him to give her “justice or permission to die”.The girl from northern Bihar state said she was “unable to bear” continued threats from the family of the alleged rapist and men belonging to his caste.The alleged rapist was arrested after the girl lodged a complaint with police last year and is now in a local prison.His family say he has been falsely accused and deny a rape took place.
In her handwritten letter to President Kalam, the girl says she and her relatives have repeatedly been threatened by her alleged attacker’s family. “Respected Kalam uncle. Please save me, get me justice or give me permission to die,” she writes. “I am unable to bear all the pain and torture by the family members of the rapist and his powerful caste men of the village.” The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, lives with her grandfather, stepmother and siblings in a village in Bihar, one of India’s most backward and lawless states.
Her mother died young, and her father works in Delhi. The police report says the girl was raped by a neighbour last September. She lodged a complaint with local police and the neighbour was then detained. When district officials decided to fast track her case, she says the alleged rapist’s family began putting pressure on her family to withdraw the case. She says she and her sisters were taunted, beaten up and even threatened with rape if she did not drop her allegations.
Her family had also been ostracised by villagers belonging to the same caste as the alleged rapist, she said. “I want him punished so severely that he cannot rape another poor, innocent girl in the village. I also want no further problems or harassment for my family.”
The traumatised girl left the village for Delhi, returning earlier this month to renewed threats, she says.”The alleged rapist’s elder brother beat me up and threatened he would rape my younger sister. Life has become a burden to me forcing me to think of taking my life,” said the girl in her letter. Why did she write to President Kalam? “What could I do? There was no way out. I have heard that the president loves children and likes to listen to thim, so I wrote to him as a last resort.” Local authorities have now provided armed guards at the girl’s house and appealed to the villagers not to harass her family.
Pic01: The girl cannot be identified for legal reasons (Photo by Prashant Ravi)
Police say they will protect the girl and her family. The father of the alleged rapist told the BBC that the case was “blatantly false and a fallout of village politics”. “The medical report clearly shows there was no evidence of the rape and there were several discrepancies in the police report on the incident,” he said.
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