10-yr-old Chandigarh rape survivor, kin to be relocated to save them from trauma
The child has undergone a lot of trauma. The family has been trying to return to a normal life but it is difficult without them being relocated as the people living in the locality know the victim,” a UT administration official said.punjab Updated: Nov 09, 2017 14:50 IST
The Chandigarh administration has decided to rehabilitate the family of a 10-year-old girl, who gave birth to an infant after being raped over a period of seven months by her maternal uncles, in an effort to alleviate their trauma.
The move to shift the girl and her family out of the house came days after the two accused — one employed as a cook and the other a security guard at the same hotel — were sentenced to life imprisonment. “The child has undergone severe trauma. The family has been trying to resume a normal life, but doing so is difficult because people in the locality know the victim,” an official said on the condition of anonymity.
Though the father was initially unwilling to shift, he has now sought time till the school session is completed. The family that owns their rented accommodation has also decided to move out.
“The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act provides for the victim to be shifted out of the locality where the rape occurred to help her overcome her trauma,” the official said. However, such rehabilitation is carried out only in the rarest of rare cases, and usually, the victim’s family moves out on its own.
A few months ago, the child welfare committee had recommended that the victim be shifted out of their one-room accommodation because staying in such conditions was “unhygienic”. Sources said they have been allocated a house in another sector of Chandigarh, and would be moved there soon.
“Even though every effort was made to keep the child’s identity a secret, shifting the family has become inevitable because of all the media attention received by the case,” the official said.
Four months of twists and turns
The girl’s mother took her to a hospital after she complained of stomach-ache in July, only to find that she was 30 weeks’ pregnant. Her parents approached a local court with a petition that they be allowed to abort the foetus, but in vain.
One of her maternal uncles, who worked as a guard, was arrested for the crime. The case, however, hit a hurdle when the DNA of the accused did not match that of the infant – who was born on August 17. The girl then revealed that she was also raped by the second maternal uncle, a cook by profession. The two were then convicted by a fast-track court.