Even as the victims of rape and robbery near Dostpur are trying to come to terms with the incident, their neighbours have come out in full support and extended a helping hand to victims by arranging food and other daily use items.
“The family is confined to a room and their rented house is flooded with visitors. They mostly stay indoors for the entire day and even after nightfall. Since the men of the family have also not been able to attend their jobs, we decided to lend them a helping hand. Residents are taking care of the family and have been making a contribution for their food and daily necessities,” Kalyan Singh, a shopkeeper in the area, said.
Singh said that the residents contribute around Rs700 per day and arrange funds as per the need. The victims’ family has been residing in the locality for the last 18 years and the area residents have also persuaded the landlord to give concession to the family.
Neighbours of the victims said they are keeping a watch over movement of strangers near the house despite the police keeping a guard at the main entrance.
“Several neighbours prepare food for the family. Even relatives and visitors are taken care of with refreshments and tea by the neighbours. We are collecting more ‘chanda’ (donation) to meet the family’s daily needs,” RD Dixit, a resident, said.
The area residents are also demanding a house and compensation to the family from the state government.
“The government officials are lax. The people in power should have visited the victims. Other victims (hinting at the Bisada lynching incident) are given flats and compensation with open hands. What has this family got so far?” Gopal Sharma, a BJP supporter, said.
The victims’ residence is filled with local politicians who want the family to meet their ‘netas.’ Frequent visits by politicians is troublesome for the family as their identity is getting disclosed, neighbours said. They are unable to step out due to this fear, the neighbours said.
“We are also opposing frequent visits by politicians and demanding a house and compensation for the victims,” Sharma said.
Asked why residents did not protest when a BJP delegation visited the victims a couple of days back, Sharma said, “Since BJP leaders visited first, we did not know how to respond. Only after other politicians started visiting did we understand the problems of the victims. The state police are running around UP to trace missing cattle but are not doing enough to trace the remaining suspects.”