Waiting for justice to immerse her clothes: Mother of Dalit girl raped in Delhi

Updated on Aug 14, 2022 12:31 PM IST

A 9-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped and murdered inside a crematorium in west Delhi’s Delhi Cantonment area. The police have arrested four people in the case, including the priest of the crematorium

On August 1, the nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed by a priest and three others at the crematorium located in the Purani Nangal village, near Delhi Cantonment. (HT Photo)
On August 1, the nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed by a priest and three others at the crematorium located in the Purani Nangal village, near Delhi Cantonment. (HT Photo)

NEW DELHI: A year has passed since the day a 9-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped and murdered inside a crematorium in west Delhi’s Delhi Cantonment area. The girl’s mother has still kept her clothes. She says that she will immerse them in the Ganga, but only after the court decides on the fate of four men who raped and murdered her daughter.

On August 1, the nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed by a priest and three others at the crematorium located in the Purani Nangal village, near Delhi Cantonment. The suspects allegedly told the girl’s family that she died of electrocution when she was fetching water from an electric water cooler installed at the crematorium. They allegedly tried to cremate her body after threatening her parents not to tell the police about the incident. However, when her mother raised a hue and cry, local residents disrupted the ritual, and informed the police.

The four men have been booked for murder, rape and criminal intimidation, a case regarding which was registered under Indian Penal Code’s sections 302, 376 and 506, in addition to relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the SC/ST Act. The four accused are lodged in Tihar Jail.

But, a lot has changed since the incident.

The victims’ family now has police security. A city court ordered the police to provide them security because some friends and relatives of the accused persons live in the same area. But the police security is a hindrance too. The family of the girl cannot take the police personnel along with them when they step out to work. So, her parents have stopped going to work as daily wage labourers.

The crematorium has also reopened albeit with security guards at its gates.

The locality where the 9-year-old girl lived with her parents is situated right in the middle of the cantonment area --- a row of pucca and kuchcha houses in the backdrop of large bungalows.

The girl’s family lives on the first floor of a semi-pucca building. “I will not throw these clothes or give them to anyone. I will only immerse them in Ganga after my daughter gets justice and the four men are sent to the gallows,” the mother of the girl said.

After the incident and the subsequent protest by locals and politicians, the girl’s parents were asked to move out from the rented house where they lived before because the house owner wanted to renovate the house. They then moved to a room on the first floor where they have been living since.

Five police officials, including two women and three men take turns to stand guard on the ground floor of the building where the couple lives now. The child’s parents say they haven’t worked for a year and spend most of their time inside the house, besides stepping out for attending court hearings, hospital visits and grocery shopping where they are mostly accompanied by the police officers.

“Two of the four accused used to live in this area and their families could harm us so the court ordered police protection. But we aren’t able to work because of this as police cannot keep roaming with us,” the woman said, and added that they are managing expenses with 5lakh which Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had given them at the time of the incident. “This money will get over and we will have to figure something out,” she said.

Meanwhile, outsiders and those who have no business to be there are no longer allowed inside the crematorium. “There are security guards for morning and night. We don’t allow any ruffians to enter. Earlier, it was open and anybody would come inside,” said caretaker Bhupinder Singh.

A senior police officer said, “The investigation in the case was conducted in a professional manner, and all accused were arrested within 24 hours of the crime being reported to the police. The charge sheet was prepared, submitted to the court within two months. Police also ensured law and order in the area despite protests. Now, we are ensuring the safety of the victim’s parents”.

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New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, October 04, 2022
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