His sister dead, Jagsir Singh is left with the thoughts of saving many other girls who think it better to die than speak against sexual harassment and risk losing their freedom.
His sister, a schoolgirl aspiring to be a doctor, attempted self-immolation at Kal Banjara village of Punjab’s Sangrur district on Saturday after 20 torturous days of stalking and public humiliation by boys who had come down to physical assault.
On Tuesday morning in Chandigarh, she succumbed to her burn injuries.
Outside the mortuary of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, Jagsir Singh addressed journalists. “It is not about my sister alone. There are many other girls who dread going to school because of stalkers. Please, save them at least,” he said, before breaking down.
“There is nobody to hear these poor girls who, like boys, have the right to study. I might have lost my sister but now, along with other villagers, I will create an atmosphere in which girls can live with freedom. We will hold meetings in our vehra (Dalit colony), where we will ask people to encourage their daughters to open up and share their problems with family,” he said.
Jagsir Singh said there were more boys her sister had not named in her statement to the magistrate, but he would fight against all.
The autopsy of the minor victim of self-immolation was done on Tuesday evening in Chandigarh, since the Sangrur police took so late to bring case documents to the PGI. On Wednesday, the victim’s family will take her body to her village for cremation.