After a 17-year-old girl succumbed to her injuries after allegedly being subjected to brutal rape, her mother is now seeking police protection in Puducherry. The accused, 26-year-old Arun Kumar, has been arrested from their neighbourhood. Meanwhile, the widowed mother continues to receive threats from the relatives of the accused for having lodged a complaint.
The girl died from internal injuries at the General Hospital in Trivandrum on June 19. Her mother reached Puducherry on June 21 for her daughter's burial when the relatives of the accused allegedly attacked her.
The accused and his family are said to be supporters of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA. The Communist Party of India (Marxist), All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) and the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) ensured that a complaint was lodged in the matter.
The CPI(M) has written to the Union Home Minister seeking an immediate and fair enquiry into the incident.
RAPED, VIDEOGRAPHED AND THREATENED
The girl had been allegedly raped and assaulted for the past three months, leading to severe internal injuries. In its letter, the CPI(M) Puducherry committee said: “She was forcibly raped by the accused in March this year when her mother was not at home, and then blackmailed by the accused who had filmed the rape, and threatened to put it online. She had been subjected to repeated rapes, and physical violence, which she suppressed from her mother, fearing the consequences”.
Her mother grew worried after the health of the girl deteriorated due to the alleged assaults which continued over months by the accused. She was taken to Thiruvananthapuram for treatment where she shared horrifying details of the incidents with her aunt.
During her hospitalisation, she was found to have severe injuries inflicted to her private parts, including cuts, nail scratches, and severe damage to her kidneys and liver. She was later shifted to Trivandrum's General Hospital for further treatment. Her statement was recorded and the accused was arrested.
The victim succumbed to her injuries on June 19 and her mortal remains were taken to Puducherry for the last rites.
FAMILY THREATENS MOTHER
The family of the accused allegedly attacked the mother on her arrival for having registered a complaint. Given the proximity of the family of the accused with the BJP and its MLA, the CPI(M) took up the issue with the home ministry.
“Arun Kumar’s family members are supporters of the BJP. The victim’s mother is worried about their connections with the recently-elected BJP MLA, Sai Saravanan Kumar, who appears to be playing a behind-the-scenes role in support of the accused,” the letter alleged.
After the victim's mother was threatened again by a relative of the accused, the AIDWA had written to the SSP of Puducherry demanding protection for her. She met the press explaining her situation alongside Sudha Sundararaman, the national vice-president of the AIDWA.
The brother-in-law of the accused reportedly entered the victim's house and warned the mother, threatening her with dire consequences for lodging a complaint.
Sathya, secretary of the Puducherry unit of AIDWA, said: "Her mother is being subjected to repeated threats by the relatives of the accused. Under the guise of consoling her, the family members continue to speak of the influence of the family of the accused. She has lodged two complaints regarding the threats but only one case has been filed so far”.
‘ENSURE JUSTICE FOR THE FAMILY’
The AIDWA has written to the Lieutenant Governor, Chief Minister and the SSP of the union territory regarding the attitude of the police and explaining the mental trauma suffered by the mother.
“We seek immediate action to ensure that the investigation into the case does not get subverted or thwarted in any manner. The police must not allow any kind of political or other forms of interference to impede the course of justice. The mother of the victim, who has been facing threats, should be given adequate protection, legal support and other forms of assistance if required,” the AIDWA statement said.
“We have submitted a memorandum to the SSP. We are meeting her on June 29 to appraise her of the happenings. The victim’s mother is a vulnerable target and needs the support of the law,” Sathya said.