A 16-year-old gang-rape victim in Meghalaya, forced to relocate following harassment by locals and reluctance of schools to admit her, has found her new home no less hostile.
What's more, a minister related to one of the 17 accused of raping her on December 13 last year is allegedly pressuring her to withdraw the case.
According to the Civil Society Women's Organisation (CSWO), a Shillong-based NGO, taunts from locals associated with the accused forced the girl and her mother to shift from East Garo Hills district headquarters Williamnagar to West Garo Hills district headquarters Tura earlier this year.
Inability to get the girl admitted to a school also contributed to their decision. They faced similar reluctance in Tura. "At least one school in Tura denied her admission on various grounds. The family of one of the accused, related to a minister, is also intimidating the girl and her mother to withdraw the case," CSWO chief Agnes Kharshiing said from Shillong on Tuesday.
Meghalaya State Commission for Women member Gamchi Timre R Marak said, "We have found a school that has agreed to take her in."
East Garo Hills deputy commissioner Vijay Mantri said a probe was ordered against schools following reports that the family of the girl had shifted permanently. His West Garo Hills counterpart did not pick up the phone, but his office said a report had been sought from officials concerned.