The rape accused ties the knot with his victim at a Bokaro temple on Thursday. Picture by Pankaj Singh
Bokaro, Sept. 12: A “mahapanchayat” near Bokaro today solemnised a “grand wedding” between a rape victim and the man who assaulted her four days ago, a day before India hears the quantum of punishment for Delhi rapists in the landmark December 16 case.
The wedding of the 18-year-old girl with her 24-year-old rapist Ram Kishan took place with great fanfare at Ram Mandir, Bokaro steel city.
Satanpur, a mere 10km from industrial hub Bokaro, was where one of its residents, Kishan, a contractor, raped the teen on September 8 evening. The girl, a student of a handicraft training institute, was returning from class, when Kishan and his friend Gopal Kumar, offered her a lift on a bike. Then, they took her to the deserted Satanpur High School where Kishan raped her.
Though villagers asked the girl and her parents to hush up the matter, she lodged an FIR.
But, as the girl and her rapist were of the Boury Scheduled Caste, Boury Mahapanchayat decided to push the case for marriage.
Yesterday evening, at a meeting bizarrely held on Satanpur High School grounds, the site of the rape, the girl and her attacker were called and asked if they would accept each other as husband and wife. Over 1,000 Boury members attended the meeting.
The respective fathers of the victim and attacker, Santan Boury and M.N. Boury, “happily” gave their consent.
Talking to The Telegraph after the marriage today, Boury Mahapanchayat general secretary Navin Chandra Boury said: “Last evening, it was confirmed that Ram Kishan loved the girl and even she had soft corner for him.”
The Boury Mahapanchayat general secretary added the girl, boy, their fathers and other caste members signed on a document that proclaimed the wedding “beneficial”.
“As I committed the crime, I accepted my guilt and got ready to marry the girl. I will give her respect and love,” Ram Kishan told The Telegraph.
Boury members also met Bokaro DSP R.R. Prasad. “The matter is settled and FIR withdrawn. Police have nothing to do with the case,” the DSP said.
The brutal Delhi rape of the 23-year-old paramedic led to national outrage and prompted a tougher anti-rape bill. The tragedy’s vital takeaway was shifting the shame from the victim to the perpetrator.
The fallout of Bokaro rape shows a section of small-town and rural India believes holy matrimony can bleach the “stain of rape”.
The lone voice of dissent came from Jharkhand state women’s commission chairperson Hemlata S. Mohan: “How did the girl’s parents allow her marriage to her rapist?”