Noida, 22 July-2014, Sourabh Gupta: She was 15 when she was allegedly abducted, gangraped and poisoned by two brothers from the neighbourhood, who later tried to rape her mother too.
But there are three reasons why the death of Rahmat’s daughter in a village near Noida in September 2013 did not make news.
First, police allegedly refused to register an FIR since Rahmat was a landless agricultural labourer; second, his girl died before she could be admitted to a hospital and was thus buried without a medical examination or post-mortem, and third, local police did not arrest the two young men since their landowning family had allegedly paid bribe.
So this is probably the first time you are reading about the crime, which this reporter stumbled upon because Rahmat came with a plea to the Superintendent of Police (Crime) of Gautam Budh Nagar after the two men allegedly tried to molest his wife and threatened to kill the family if it went to the police.
He begged police to arrest the boys but that hasn’t happened, even though the SP clearly instructed the circle officer of Jewar to look into the case registered at Rabupura police station.
What can the circle officer even do, since the FIR itself was registered on June 25, 2014, for a crime that took place 10 months ago!
Also, the FIR claims the girl was raped and committed suicide but not poisoned as Rahmat’s been telling the police all this while.
The probe as such is moving in reverse, relying solely on witness testimonies, from the family’s side as well as the accused.
“We are probing the charges. But there is no body or medical record. Rahmat just told the police and they registered an FIR,” Wasim Khan, the circle officer, told IndiaToday.in.
A constable in Noida, pursuing the case on Rahmat’s behalf, had said that the girl’s body might have to be exhumed from the village grave for a post-mortem to establish poisoning at least.
But when asked, Khan said: “We don’t know what we will get by exhuming the body after 10 months.”
How Rahmat lost his daughter
Rahmat, in his fifties and illiterate, gave this account of how his daughter was allegedly raped and killed, the same he gave to local police, the circle officer, a local court, the SSP and the National Human Rights Commission.
At 11 pm on September 1, 2013, the girl, then 15, was abducted from her house in Dhanpura village, around 55 km from Noida. The alleged abductors were their neighbours Waseem and Nadeem, said to be aged between 19 and 21, and two others, who remain unnamed.
They took the girl to the fields and allegedly raped her. They then made her consume some poisonous substance and dumped her near her house at dawn, Rahmat said.
Rahmat and his wife were away in Bulandshahr for the treatment of their younger daughter and returned on hearing of the abduction.
The girl was brought home, and as the poison worked into her system, she spoke of what had happened to her in the presence of three witnesses.
She was made to vomit the poison and taken to a private hospital in Greater Noida, where Rahmat was told the fees could run into thousands of rupees and he decided to take his daughter somewhere else. “She died on the way,” he said.
The family returned to the village with her body, not angry but defeated and scared. Police was the last thing on their mind. There air was tense; Rahmat said he was hurried by others to finish up with the funeral and by 11 am, his girl, who alive a few hours ago, was buried deep into the earth.
“We waited it out for a day, and then went to the police station. But they turned us away,” Rahmat said, and alleged that the policemen had all been “paid off”.
But there was nothing on the side of Rahmat to raise a ruckus, or for others to push the police, unlike in the case of the two cousins who were gangraped and hanged from a tree for all to see in a Badaun village some months ago.
In this incident, there was no medical examination of the body for signs of rape or for post-mortem to establish poisoning.
Murder, suicide or honour killing, wonder police
Though in all his pleas Rahmat accused the men of poisoning his daughter, police booked them for abetment to suicide (Section 306), saying the girl killed herself “due to shame”.
But the family of the accused offered another sinister version to police: they said the girl was poisoned by her family to preserve their honour.
“Police, instead of arresting the accused, threatened to book me, my wife and my son for murdering our daughter,” said Rahmat.
IndiaToday.in could not contact the parents of the accused since they were said to have left the village after police began the probe.
Rahmat said the two brothers, who were roaming free in the village since the crime, were sent off to Bulandshahr some three weeks ago.
Two versions for delay in registering FIR
In the FIR form, there is a section which asks details about ‘progress in investigation and the reason behind delay in recording of the FIR’.
The police say the case was registered late because the accused “scared off” the complainant so much that “he could not dare to register a case”.
But Rahmat offers another explanation, alleging bribery.
“All the policemen were bribed by Khursheed (the father of the two boys). That’s why they turned me away without registering a case and even threatened me. They are protecting the boys,” he said.
He refers to the alleged bribery in his letter to the National Human Right Commission.
Thought Rahmat felt betrayed by Rabupura police, he said he found a saviour in a constable posted in Noida.
He said Sushil Kaushik helped him approach the SP and SSP, the Human Rights Commission and even the district magistrate.
Kaushik, an RTI activist, told IndiaToday.in that local police were reluctant to register an FIR and were now dragging their feet in arresting the accused.
The alleged rapists have been booked under Section 376 (gangrape), 306 (abetment to suicide) and 506 (criminal intimidation), but not Section 302 (murder).
Settlement offer, death threats and a molestation bid
After pressure from senior officials on local police to act and arrest the accused came more trouble for Rahmat.
In an application to SP (Crime) on July 10, he said he was not being allowed to enter his village and being given death threats to pressure him to go for a settlement in the case.
“They (family of the accused) said they would shoot me if I enter the village,” Rahmat said. “Local police too are backing them,” he alleged.
“The family even offered money but we refused,” he said.
Before that, on April 20, the two boys had barged into Rahmat’s house and allegedly tried to abuse and molest his wife. When her sons rushed in, the two fled but threatened to kill the entire family if they went to police, says the FIR.
Those death threats have vanished for now, Rahmat, accompanied by his 20-year-old driver son, told IndiaToday.in some days back, since the family of the accused have left the village.
“We don’t want settlement or money. We are just fighting for our rights, for justice,” Rahmat said.
(Input source: India Today)