7-yr-old Sultanpur rape victim’s family fighting ‘dual battle’
The family of the seven-year-old girl, who was raped earlier in the month, in Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur is fighting two battles.
As the girl is recovering in Lucknow’s King George’s Medical University (KGMU), her family is also struggling to get the culprits punished.
While the police claim they solved the case within eight hours of the brutal rape on February 12 by arresting a 16-year-old boy for the rape, the victim’s family differs.
Her father, a Chinese food stall owner in Sultanpur, which is about 140km from Lucknow, said his daughter had said she was raped by three people after they found her injured in the neighbourhood.
He said his daughter, a Class 1 student, was playing near his food stall like every day on February 12 when she suddenly disappeared.
“I thought she might have gone home but when I went back home I got to know about her disappearance. We immediately began a search and found her in an open plot, badly injured and screaming for help,” he said.
The father said before she fainted she could only tell them that there were three men who raped her.
“We informed the police but later they arrested a boy and said he is the lone culprit. We don’t know who did this but my daughter’s words that there were three persons are still echoing in my ears,” he said.
Sultanpur’s superintendent of police, Shiv Hari Meena said, “We arrested a 16-year-old boy after proper investigation and will take the case to a fast track court so that the culprit is punished as soon as possible.”
“There was only one person involved in the rape. Their (family’s) allegation is baseless,” another police official, who is privy to the matter, said.
However, the survivor’s mother also questioned the police’s version.
“Why would my daughter lie? She did not name anyone, we are not blaming anyone,” she said.
Police have also lodged a case of criminal intimidation against an unidentified person based on the complaint of the survivor’s father.
“Her father said he was threatened to take the case back but could not produce evidence of threats. Still, we are investigating this complaint too,” a police official said.
Doctors at KGMU said the girl has critical injuries.
“The wall between her rectum and vagina had ruptured and major surgery was conducted. We will perform another surgery,” said a doctor.
The victim was admitted in Sultanpur hospital for a week and then rushed to Lucknow after her health deteriorated. She was operated eight days after she was raped and this was the reason they had to perform two surgeries, the doctor said.
“Had she been brought here within 24 hours of the incident, we would have needed only one surgery,” KGMU’s head of paediatric surgery department, Dr SN Kureel, said.
“The girl will need several weeks to recover. Her treatment is free of cost,” he said.
He said there was no risk to her life and she may grow up as a normal child after a few weeks.
“We are trying to give her the best treatment and hope she will recover and get back home soon. In such cases, the patient should be brought to a specialised medical centre immediately,” said the doctor.
Traders in Lucknow have said they will stage a peaceful protest at Gandhi statue in Hazratganj on Saturday.
“The rape survivor belongs to a lower-middle-class family. Despite their complaint about three culprits, the police are trying to close the matter by arresting a juvenile,” the chief of trader body state, Sandeep Bansal, said.
“We demand a thorough probe into this case and will protest on Saturday for our demand,” Bansal said.
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