The minor girl was allegedly gang-raped by her family members as punishment for eloping with a man that her parents did not approve of
In a blood-curdling incident that makes even ‘honour killing’ appear like a lesser crime, a 17-year-old girl was reportedly gang-raped by her own father, brother and two uncles in Dhaneda village of Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district. The girl’s crime? She had eloped with her boyfriend, a 32-year-old man, who her parents did not approve off.
The shocking incident took place on November 2 but came to light only recently after the Allahabad High Court ordered the UP Police to file an FIR against the four family members who the girl has accused of rape. All four accused in the case have now been arrested under stringent sections of the rape law though the rape survivor’s mother has claimed that the allegations are false and were made by her daughter “under influence of her lover”.
Though details of the incident aren’t immediately available, the little that is known about the crime is revoltingly shocking.
While media reports about the incident are sketchy, with some claiming that the rape survivor is a minor and others stating that she’s aged in her early 20s, a report by the Times of India claims that the girl had attempted to elope with her lover twice – first in July and then again in October this year – but was on both occasions apprehended by her family.
In her complaint to the Allahadbad High Court and UP police and her statement made before a magistrate, the rape survivor has claimed that after she was caught by her parents following her second attempt to elope, she was placed under house arrest and raped by her father, brother and two uncles.
The girl’s family had reportedly filed an abduction complaint against her boyfriend on both occasions when they tried to elope. After the incident, the girl’s boyfriend was apparently arrested by the police but was later let off after she told the police that the two had eloped by their choice.
According to the Times of India report, the rape survivor’s family filed a second complaint against the man in October. The report says that the rape survivor reportedly approached the Allahabad High Court on November 2 and alleged that she was gang-raped by her family members at a nursing home and even forced to miscarry.
The Allahabad High court then directed the UP police to file a case of rape against the girl’s father, brother and uncles. The four alleged rapists were arrested on Monday and booked under Sections 376D (gang rape) and 313 (causing miscarriage without woman’s consent) of the Indian Penal Code and a slew of other charges.
It may be recalled that Uttar Pradesh has had a long, dubious history of crimes against women. While the state’s chief minister, Yogi Adityanath has repeatedly been claiming that his government is working towards safety of women and their empowerment, incidents such as the one reported above raise doubts on just how safe are women in Uttar Pradesh.