The parents and siblings of the eight-year-old girl who was brutally raped and killed at a desolate spot near Bhopal mela ground last Sunday night, have been moved into the attendant's room of a public lavatory in the Om Nagar slum area.
This, the police have done in the name of "witness protection". The girl's six-year-old brother had seen the accused, 50-year-old Nand Kishor, taking her away from the mela ground on the night of February 3.
This family of four - which also includes an infant - has been shifted two days ago by the administration in the 'Jan Suvidha Sulabh Kendra' at Om Nagar. When HT reached the place, the stink made it unbearable to even stand for five minutes.
The helpless mother, Sapna Dhuria, said in a choked voice: "We are helpless. We have no other place to stay. We have to do what the police tells us to. If they think we are secure and safe here, we have to stay here then."
The eight-year-old girl's grandfather, Asharam Dhuriya, told HT: "What could we say? Police is trying to sweep the case under the carpet because the incident took place near the home minister's house.
In the name of security, they have made arrangements of accommodation in the Sulabh Kendra because we are poor and helpless. One can see how the children and the parents are living here."
When contacted by HT, additional superintendent of police Rajesh Chandel said the family is living at the Sulabh Kendra on it own volition, and not under police pressure.
The parents and relatives are also upset over reports that the accused Nand Kishor had an enmity with them and is a distant relative.
"Neither is the accused our relative, nor did we have any animosity with him. He committed the crime in a pre-planned manner," said Kallu Chauhan. "People are unnecessarily trying to give a twist to a crime case," the victim's father Narendra Dhuriya told HT at the Sulabh Kendra.
The parents want capital punishment for the accused. "Chief minister (Shivraj Singh Chouhan) demanded capital punishment for rapists, but he did not respond to our case so far," the father said.