A Noida-based man whose wife and minor daughter were gang-raped by highway robbers in Uttar Pradesh said on Monday that the family of three will commit suicide if police fail to give them justice in three months.
“My daughter and my wife are not in a position to speak. For 18 years we have lived in Noida and now we are not able to return to our homes because of the shame. I appeal to the Noida Police to deliver me justice. I give them an ultimatum of three months. Post that, we will commit suicide,” he told newsmen.
The ultimatum by the family comes amid allegations of police laxity that allowed the gang to waylay five members of the family on the Ghaziabad-Aligarh highway on Friday night when they were headed to their native place in Shahjahanpur in a car.
The gang looted cash and other valuables before dragging the 13-year-old girl and her mother to a roadside field and raping them, the family said in its complaint.
“Two people raped my wife and daughter. My elder brother’s wife was spared because the rapists thought she was too old. We even appealed to them to kill us before they rape them…then they started beating us...They also took Rs 21,000 and jewellery from us,” he said.
The crime in Bulandshahr has shocked the country and raised questions about law and order and the role of police in the state.
The UP government has suspended seven policemen and set up a 300-member task force that arrested three suspects on Monday. They were remanded in police custody for two weeks.
The family said the initial response of police on Saturday morning was “pathetic” and that a police van had driven past the spot during the assault.
The uncle of the minor said when they called the police helpline 100, the emergency helpline was busy at first and then no one picked up for a long time. They then contacted a relative in Noida and after some time, the local police station called on their phone.
But then, the officer on the other side of the line repeatedly asked questions instead of rescuing the family.
Earlier in the day, the family even demanded that the two survivors be allowed to shoot dead the rapists in public.
The minor’s uncle said the family will never come out of the trauma of the rape but an “example” needed to be set to avoid such incidents, reigniting the debate around stricter punishment for crimes against women.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) also summoned a doctor for allegedly abusing the minor and asking her asking her “awkward questions” during the medical examination.
NCW chairperson Lalitha Kumarmangalam also criticised Uttar Pradesh police for not invoking sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (Pocso) against the accused.
DIG Meerut Range Laxmi Singh said the Pocso Act was yet to be added in the FIR.
Kumarmangalam said the NCW members were counselling the victims, as they were traumatised and had not been offered any such assistance by the UP Police.