A 16-year-old rape survivor in Gurgaon, who gave birth to a baby girl on July 22 last year, wants custody of the child who was handed over to the state social welfare department’s child care institute.
The girl’s parents are opposed to her wishes and want her to marry once she attains adulthood.
The girl on Wednesday came to the Gurgaon district court where the 27-year-old accused was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. He was employed as a driver with the family’s landlord in Chakkarpur, Sector 28. He had raped the girl in October 2015 while she was alone at home.
The girl’s parents tried to get foetus aborted when the pregnancy was in its seventh month, but a medical board declined to allow the termination of pregnancy, citing its advanced stage. The girl delivered the child on July 22, 2016.
In tears, the girl on Wednesday pleaded with the lawyers to let her meet the baby. The child was taken away from her five days after delivery and the girl has never seen her baby since then. She fears that her baby would be adopted by an unknown family.
“I have not seen my child since July 27, 2016, and now she is nine months old. I want to keep her with me. I will work hard and bring her up but my parents are not letting me do so. I have not lived in these nine months. I have been crying each night to see my child,” the survivor said.
“I did not know that I will come to be so attached to my child in those five days. I was scared of the social stigma and my parents forced me to surrender my child. I am a minor but how can I forget that I have given birth to her and what is her fault that she has to live away from her mother?” the victim said.
The survivor remained silent about the rape fearing social stigma and the family came to know of it only when she could not hide her pregnancy.
Arun Shokeen, government advocate, district court, Gurgaon, said the accused was convicted under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and awarded rigorous imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of Rs 20,000 imposed on him. He was also sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 imposed on him under Section 506 (threatening for life) of the IPC.
Shakuntala Dhull, chairperson, Gurgaon child welfare committee, said, “This child was legally surrendered by the family members and we shifted her to a child care home and will be given up for adoption through SAA (specialised adoption agency). This procedure will be confidential and the family members will not be informed about her adoptive parents.”