27 September 2019
Phulbani: The apparent lack of humanity has rendered a minor rape survivor homeless as her family has cast her off stating that the victimizer is of a lower caste. First raped and resultantly ostracized by family and society, the victim has all her hopes pinned on the judicial system now.
The much shocking incident occurred under Khajuripada Police station of Kandhamal district. As per Police reports, a 16-year old girl was raped in the month of June by a married man from her village. Threatening with dire consequences, he repeatedly raped her whenever he found her alone. Scared for her life, the victim kept mum.
In the month of August, the minor’s family noticed physical changes in her body and discovered out that she was in fact pregnant. Upon further inquiry, they found out that her repeated rapes resulted in her pregnancy. The family also, eventually, unearthed the culprit. They approached him and asked him to own up his actions and do the needful; to which he blatantly refused.
The girl and her family then filed a First Information Report (FIR) on August 28 under The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act). Under IPC Section 164, the victim’s statement was recorded; however, the perpetrator had absconded by then. He was later arrested on September 24 and has been in Police custody failing to attend bail.
Meanwhile, the minor was handed over to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) by the Police for counseling after which the girl returned with her family to her home. In a span of just two days, she was back at CWC as her parents refuse to accept her. They were of the opinion that since the perpetrator is of a lower caste, it is not feasible for them to keep their daughter with them fearing that the community might ostracize them. Notably, even the girl had been staying with her parents she was housed separately.
CWC officials decided upon to place the girl at a shelter home. Hence she was first placed at Baliguda Seba Samiti but later moved to Subhadra Mahatab Seba Sadan. The victim awaits justice.