They offered chocolates while trying to lure me into jhuggi, says visually-impaired woman raped in Delhi
Friday morning was the first time the visually impaired woman’s mother had left her alone at home and had asked not to move from the spot.Updated: May 07, 2018 09:33 IST
Seated on the same old abandoned cart from which she was dragged into a jhuggi and allegedly gang-raped on Friday, a 20-year-old visually impaired woman shuffled between tears and anger while recalling her ordeal on Sunday.
“Everyone here knows I cannot see. But those men thought I am mentally challenged as well. Chotu Pal (the arrested accused) first offered me chocolates and biscuits while trying to lure me into a jhuggi,” the victim said, grinding her teeth.
“My mother had instructed me never to listen to strangers. While my mother was going to fetch water, she had told me not to move from the spot, so I refused to accompany Chotu Pal (the arrested suspect) when he tried to lure me with eatables,” she said.
“Chotu Pal then threatened to beat me if I did not accompany him. I realised that he was not going to offer me any eatables and refused to listen to him. He then caught me by my arm and dragged me into the jhuggi before immediately covering my mouth with his hands to prevent me from screaming,” she recounted.
Friday morning was the first time her mother had left her alone at home ever since she could remember. Like every morning, the aged woman would fetch water from a nearby restaurant in a neighbourhood near central Delhi’s Karol Bagh. The slum where the young woman lives with her mother and uncle has neither water supply, nor public toilets.
“I know my daughter is under constant threat. So, I have always taken her along with me, be it for fetching water or going to toilet (in the open). I don’t remember leaving her alone ever,” said the mother.
The mother of the victim had become even more cautious ever since her jhuggi was razed in a blaze last October. “Until then, my jhuggi had a door and my daughter was safer. But after the fire, I couldn’t gather enough money to get a door fixed,” said the woman who collects scraps for a living.
Speaking to Hindustan Times on Sunday, the mother regretted leaving her daughter at home for 30 minutes during which the crime took place. “It was hot and I did not want to take my daughter in the heat. It was the first time I had left her alone. I think those men had been waiting for long, but were unable to find an opportunity,” said the mother.
Youngest of five siblings, the victim had lost sight in both her eyes soon after she turned five. She had studied up to Class 4. “She was finding it difficult to study without sight. She couldn’t pass her Class 4 exams and dropped out of school,” said the mother.
The police have so far arrested Chotu Pal and detained two of his accomplices on suspicion that they were guarding the crime scene. While the victim recounted being gang-raped by two to three men, MS Randhawa, deputy commissioner of police (central), said she told her counsellor in her statement that there was only one rapist while two men stood guard outside.