In a heartbreaking incident an eight-year-old girl, who over a period of four years was allegedly raped by 16 men including her relatives, passed away on Thursday.
Though the police officials are waiting for the postmortem report to ascertain the exact cause of her death, parents of the child shared that she died because of prolonged illness. The case has been registered under Section 174 (unnatural death) of the Indian Penal Code.
It was July 2019, when the horrifying details of the case first surfaced. It was the minor’s mother who gathered the courage to approach the police and lodged a complaint stating that’s several relatives have raped her two daughters since 2017.
What Happened To 8-YO?
According to the New Indian Express, on Thursday, the mother’s younger daughter had a stomach ache and went to the toilet twice, first at 9:40 pm and then again at 10:10 pm.
When she stayed inside the toilet for a long time and did not respond, the mother broke the door and stepped into the washroom. When the mother found her unconscious daughter lying on the floor, she immediately took her to a private hospital where the doctors declared her dead on arrival.
She aspired to be a police officer
Currently, the 10-year-old elder daughter is a student at a private school in Chennai. And, the mother is working with a private firm and after remarrying she relocated to the city in 2018.
When the alleged sexual assaults happened, the daughters were living with their mother. After registering the police complaint, she relocated to Chennai fearing for her daughters’ lives.
The eight-year-old girl’s stepfather recalled her, saying that she was a smart child and aspired to be a police officer.
Parents noticed behavioral changes
The step-father shared how for a long time they were not aware of what their daughters were going through. In July 2019, they noticed some behavioral changes in the younger daughter that made them investigate the changes.
The mother further added that it was after May 2019 vacations, when the children refused to return, the parents started spotting changes in their behaviors.
Both the daughters suffered from disturbed sleep, random fear, sudden shivering and did not allow people to touch them. The children feared that they might get a scolding from the parent so didn’t reveal anything to them.
The whole incident came to light when the elder daughter lost consciousness at school and later a government medic confirmed that the children were raped several times by multiple men.
Judicial Fight against 16 men
As per the procedure, the doctors passed the information to the Childline India Foundation and, the investigation revealed that both children had been raped repeatedly by the mother’s relatives.
The mother then filed a case against 16 people under the provisions of the POCSO Act. Though the accused were remanded in judicial custody, all of them were released on bail in November and December as per the sources.
While sharing the details, Villupuram Superintendent of Police, S Jeyakumar mentioned:
“The death of the child does not seem to be connected to them. However, if the autopsy report shows that sexual assault was the cause of death, we will take action accordingly.”
As per the sources, the interim compensation which is a mandatory provision under Rule 7 of the POCSO Act was not provided to the victims, despite the case being in trial.
The Bottom Line
At IFORHER, we are heartbroken and disappointed. We are ashamed of what kind of society we live in where an eight-year-old was raped by her own relatives over a period of four years. The family, who were supposed to protect her, made her a victim of their sex greed.
While this 8-year-old paid the price of being a girl in our society, those 16 monsters are still living their life as usual – without any shame or fear. After how these two young daughters were preyed upon by their own family, do you still feel we have a right to call ourselves a civilized society?