It is indeed sad when a rape survivor is encouraged to bury the hatchet or retract his/her statement. It shows the disgusting attitude of familial and societal factors trying to hush up an unpleasant incident so that the news doesn’t get out. Justice, in any case, takes ages in our country, and its obstruction is yet another unnecessary evil that survivors find themselves fighting.
Any person who has suffered such an ordeal must be given the help they require. Whether legal or medical, assistance must be quick and continuous. However, when the ones closest to the survivor, pressurises him/her to take back the case, it is sad and quite unbelievable.
In the national capital, an 18-year-old girl who belongs to a disadvantaged background went through a similar ordeal. She claimed that she was raped by two men in August 2017. One of the accused, who was out on interim bail, approached her parents in April 2018 and offered her Rs 20 lakh to convince their daughter to alter her statement and withdraw the case. Her parents agreed.
The girl, however, refused to cooperate.
On Tuesday, the girl visited the Aman Vihar police station, and explaining her ordeal, informed them about the “deal” that her parents had made with the man. She went on to narrate how they were forcing her to give a false statement and when they realised that verbal pressure was not working, they resorted to violence and blackmail, claiming that they needed the money.
The girl also handed over a bag containing Rs 5 lakh to the police, which was given to the parents as the “advance money” by a visitor.
Thanks to her courageous decision, a case under IPC Sections 195 (A) (threatening any person to give false evidence), 506 (threatening any person to give false evidence) and 120 (B) (punishment of criminal conspiracy) and Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act was registered against the parents.
According to the cops, the girl handed over the first instalment of the money, and a team was subsequently formed to investigate the issue. While her mother was arrested, her father managed to flee. A senior police officer told the Times of India, a manhunt for the accused is on.
This isn’t an isolated case. There are many rape survivors who are either intimidated or offered money to withdraw the case against the accused. The survivor, in this case, did the brave and the right thing and refused to back down.
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Here’s hoping she manages to take her parents, and most importantly, her rapists to task, and gets some semblance of justice. She is indeed a timely inspiration for the oppressed.