The family lives in fear as survivor’s elder brother was kidnapped and death threats were made to them on phone calls. The village and community have shunned them for filing a police complaint.
Malda: Four months on, a 6-year-old rape survivor is still waiting for justice as the police procedure moves slowly and the accused and his family threaten her family. Recently, there was also an attempt to kidnap her brother.
According to Bangla Sanskriti Manch, she was raped at Sershie, Kaliachak, Malda, West Bengal. “Several attempts were made by the victim's father, who is a daily labourer. The accused and his family tried to resolve the matter by offering money to him but he refused it and said he wants justice. The father of the child informed BKM and asked for help. We went to the police station after which they filed the complaint. Ever since that has happened the accused and his family are threatening the survivor’s family with dire consequences. On Monday, the survivors elder brother went missing. The 11-year-old boy had been kidnapped by the accused. A missing complaint was lodged and the boy was found the next day. He said that four people tried to kidnap him but he ran away and hid in the mango orchards. The family of the survivor are living in fear. We are planning a protest rally if no immediate action is taken,” said Samirul Islam, president of Bangla Sanskriti Manch.
“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 survivor in a report.
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 in a report from July.
In two videos, the father narrated the entire ordeal of how the accused are harassing their family and how their community has boycotted them. “With the help of BSM, I filed a complaint with Kaliachak police station. The incident was covered by media and newspapers. Ever since the FIR has been registered, the accused and his family members are harassing us. They shine torch lights in our house at night and threaten to kill us on phone. The police are not helping us and no investigation is being done. My daughter was medically examined but the police didn’t give me any report. They said they will file it with the chargesheet,” he said.
“I am poor and don’t have money but I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. Our lawyer in Kolkata has filed a case in Kolkata High Court. It has been four months but my daughter has not got justice. I heard that the police arrested the accused but he got bail after two hours. I am an illiterate person and I don’t know the rules. Mejo Babu from Kaliachak police station told me that he got bail because he is studying in college. On October 1, my 11-year-old son went missing after he went to study at the Madrasa. Thankfully he escaped and came back the next day,” he added.
He has also been shunned by his community. “I filed the case because today it is my daughter tomorrow it can be someone else’s child and if not stopped then a number of such cases will happen. Since I went to the police, I was shunned by my neighbours and the whole village. They seem to suggest that I have done something reprehensible by going to the police. At night, some people come and shine torch lights at my house. But till now nothing has happened. Nobody, not the village elders nor the police, has done anything to nab the accused. I want justice for my daughter. Till now nobody has come to me to offer any justice. Although I have not yet been pressurised in any way, the village leaders are putting pressure on the police to hush things up. The entire incident is being hushed up. They want this incident to be resolved amicably through a kangaroo court. I don’t want that. I want justice,” he said.
The survivor was produced before the magistrate and her statement was recorded. A case under the POCSO Act has been initiated.