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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

Fear of 'social stigma' makes rape attempt victim retract

Eileen Singh, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, October 06, 2012
First Published: 00:03 IST(6/10/2012) | Last Updated: 00:04 IST(6/10/2012)

Trial of a Mauli Jagran resident in a case of attempt to rape a nine-year-old neighbour was headed to a tame close on day one of the trial as both the minor girl and her complainant mother resiled from their charges.

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After both witnesses retracted from their statements, the prosecution gave up on its third witness, Chandigarh police sub-inspector Jarnail Singh who was posted at Mauli Jagran when the incident was reported.

In her police complaint, the minor's mother claimed that she sent her daughter to a chemist shop in the area on April 17, 2012, to buy some medicines. She said that she suddenly heard loud screams of her daughter and as she rushed to her rescue, she allegedly saw accused Jeet Singh (38), who worked in a private firm, trying to sexually assault her daughter. Jeet Singh was arrested on the same date on charge of attempting to rape the minor.

Testifying in the court on Friday, both the girl and her mother denied making any such allegations and were thus declared hostile.

In their statements recorded in camera, both maintained that the accused was only trying to pull the girl's hand and she got hurt in the process and thus raised an alarm.

Court officials maintained that fear of "social stigma" and "fear of rejection by society" might have led the duo to backtrack from the charge against the accused.

"The fear of being branded a rape victim is the main reason for turning hostile. The prosecution had even offered them to term the entire event as kidnapping, but the duo stuck to their word and denied any sexual assault attempt," said a court official.

The court is likely to pronounce order in the case on Saturday.

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