By Jignasa Sinha
Sitting outside her one-room rented accommodation in a village in Haryana’s Sonipat district, she can’t stop thinking about her two minor daughters and their life in Bihar — and the night that turned their world upside down within weeks of moving here.
They had no stable job or money in Bihar, but were happy, said the 35-year-old woman, who moved to Sonipat along with her two daughters and two sons in search of a better life last month. But tragedy struck soon.
On August 5, a little after 1 am, four men who lived in a room next to hers barged into her home and allegdly raped her two daughters, aged 15 and 11, and forced them to drink insecticide when they protested. All this while she watched, scared and helpless.
Her two sons, aged 18 and 14, were sleeping on the terrace at the time.
The girls died later at a Delhi hospital, where they were taken for treatment.
“How can I ever forget what they did? They first threatened to kill me and my daughters and asked us not to shout. I was made to sit in a corner of the room and one man held me. The others raped my daughters. They were crying for help but I couldn’t do anything to save them. I never felt this helpless…,” the woman told on Thursday.
She said the accused brought the insecticide bottles with them.
According to police, the accused had threatened the woman not to tell anyone. Such was the fear that even after her daughters fell sick she told everyone it was snake bite. “The men were scary and told me that they will kill all my children. What could I do,” she said.
Her eldest son said, “I wish my mother told us what happened but she was scared and was crying all night. I tried asking her but she didn’t say anything. Around 6 am, my sisters complained of headache and vomited. I asked my mother again but she didn’t say anything.”
The family travelled 12 km to reach a hospital in Delhi for treatment. At the hospital, one girl was declared dead on arrival and the other died during treatment.
SHO Ravi Kumar said, “The woman wasn’t ready to tell us what happened. Our officers questioned her after the doctors found her statements suspicious. She later revealed that four men, who stay in a rented room next to hers, raped her daughter.”
Autopsy also confirmed sexually assault and poisoning.
Taking strong note, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), on orders from its Chairman Vijay Sampla, has sent a notice to the Haryana government, asking officials to submit an action taken report by August 19.
“To ensure that justice is provided to the victims, the Commission has sent notices to the Chief Secretary, Government of Haryana; the Director General of Police, Haryana Police; the Deputy Commissioner (District Sonipat) and the Superintendent of Police (District Sonipat),” a spokesperson for NCSC said.
According to the police, the four accused, migrant workers aged between 22 and 25, have been arrested. They have also seized the insecticide bottles and are investigating the matter.
The girls’ family said they never interacted with the men. While the girls worked at nearby farms, their brothers and mother worked at construction sites. They paid Rs 1,100 per month for their one-room accommodation. The family said after the incident, they are struggling, with no job and neighbours who prefer to avoid them.
“In Bihar, my parents and in-laws weren’t supportive but we were happy,” said the woman, who has been looking after her family after her husband’s death a decade ago.
“My daughters were sweet and shy. The younger one also attended school in Bihar. She was smart.” ( Indian Express )