“I am unable to sleep... my rapist’s face keeps haunting me day and night. Since the incident, thoughts of suicide have cross my mind several times... but my 3-year-old daughter keeps clinging to me and her smile gives me hope to live...,” said the 20-year-old widow, one of the three gangrape victims at the brick kiln in Greater Noida.
The three women and several families of the brick kiln colony are trying hard to glue back the pieces of their lives shattered on the night of November 1. Five days on, the children have started playing and the chuhlas (stoves) are burning again. However, the brick kiln does not billow smoke as the labourers are yet to return to work.
“A mini truck of rice and wheat arrived... but it is hard... very hard to see the faces of my widowed daughter and my 20-year-old daughter-in-law who were raped. Both are still nursing injuries after being beaten up before the rape. I am planning to send them to my home town after this season. Only I’ll stay here... who knows they (robbers and rapists) might come back one day,” says the 70-year-old man.
His daughter is still nursing her eye injury as she was kicked and punched in the face when she resisted rape. She is now adamant to send her 3-year-old daughter to school.
“I am illiterate but want her to study. She is the only one I am left with. I will keep on working to see her education through. We keep waking up at night even at slightest noise... the fear has crept in and refuses to go,” she said.
The 45-year-old was beaten up in the chest when she tried to resist rape. She is unable to sleep on her side. The pain she can bear, she’s more worried about what her married daughter and her mother-in-law would think.
“My daughter (22) came to see me with her mother-in-law. I felt ashamed to face them... what would they have thought on hearing that I was raped... I did not allow her to stay here the night,” she said.
The 20-year-old sister-in-law of the widowed woman is silent. She has hardly been able to move after the rape.
Her husband said, “I tried to free up my hands while we were held hostage. I can still feel the helplessness I felt that night... knowing our women were raped in the next room. I want a proper identification of the accused before they are sent to jail.”
On Saturday, Hundreds of farmers gathered outside the Rabupura police station to demand the arrest of the rapists and raised slogans against the police.
With farmers and locals standing by their side, the victims hope for a speedy justice.