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My wife doesn’t know about our daughter’s torture, says Kathua rape victim’s father

An 8-year-old girl from the Bakarwal tribe was abducted while grazing her family’s horses near her home in Kathua. She was held captive in a temple, sedated and raped repeatedly for a week before being bludgeoned to death.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2018 18:09 IST
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Kathua rape,Kathua,Kashmir
Protesters hold placards demanding severe punishment for those accused in the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, near Rajghat in New Delhi on Friday.( Mohd Zakir/HT Photo)

The mother of the 8-year-old girl does not know the extent of the brutality her daughter was subjected to from the day she was abducted on January 10 till she was murdered on January 14 in Jammu’s Kathua district, the father said on Friday.

“Till date, I have not told my wife about the brutalities unleashed upon our 8-year-old daughter. She is on heavy doses of anti-depressants since January 17—the day when she saw badly mutilated body of our daughter,” the 40-year-old father of the girl said.

The girl from the Bakarwal tribe, a nomadic community of Muslim cattle grazers, was abducted while grazing her family’s horses near her home. She was held captive in a temple, sedated and raped repeatedly for a week before being bludgeoned to death.

A retired revenue department official planned the crimes against her, says the charge sheet filed by the crime branch of the Jammu and Kashmir police, to create fear among her community and get them to leave Rasana village. The brutal Kathua gangrape-murder case, for which eight people have been charged, has polarised the state socially, politically and on communal lines.

The grieving family left for the upper reaches, almost a month in advance, following the incident, which has become a thorny issue between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and ally Bharatiya Janata Party.

The nomadic tribes of Gujjars and Bakarwals move to the mountains along with their livestock from the plains of Jammu during summers and come down during the harsh winters.

“My brother-in-law and his wife had lost their three sons and a daughter in a road accident in Mansar a few years ago. To bring them out of pain and agony, I and my wife decided to give our youngest daughter to them and we did so when she was barely one year old,” the father said while speaking to this correspondent over the phone.

“The victim’s foster parents are shattered again,” he said.

He said that they too have moved to Sanasar in Patnitop following the brutal gang-rape and murder of the girl.

The father said she used to jump into his lap whenever his family visited her foster father’s home.

“She knew very well that I was his real father and she had an elder brother and two elder sisters but she never wanted to leave her foster parents. She considered them as her parents,” he said.

The biological father said he and his family were devastated after the death of their daughter—youngest among a son and two daughters.

“We had no enmity with anyone in Rasana and if our horses had ever damaged crops of someone in the area, they should have avenged the loss by killing me or my horses, But why did they kill my eight-year-old daughter,” the father asked.

“Those who starved, sedated, gang-raped, gave electrical shocks and then brutally murdered my minor daughter should be hanged publicly so that the punishment acts as a deterrent and no other child has to face what my child has faced,” he said.

He said that instead of seeking justice for his daughter some people were trying to make it a Hindu versus Muslim issue.

“I have lost my daughter and my brother-in-law and his wife and my family are shattered souls again. This gory incident should not be given a communal colour. We seek justice for my child,” he said.

First Published: Apr 13, 2018 17:42 IST