Guwahati, Sept. 18: She is the daughter of an abusive alcoholic, was often beaten by her former employers and allegedly raped by the very neighbour, a minor, whom she had taken for a saviour. And she is just 11.
The girl, who is now being sheltered by the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, refuses to return home for fear of being tormented again.
“She keeps saying that she doesn’t want to go back home. Her father works as a chowkidar (guard) at a property in Gandhibasti owned by a family in whose house she used to work as a domestic,” said Runumi Gogoi, chairperson of the commission, while narrating the heart-rending story of the girl who was allegedly gang raped on Saturday.
“It looks like the accused had planned the crime methodically. First, one of the boys advised her to spend the night at the abandoned house to escape her father’s beating. The other four joined later and sexually assaulted her. The accused even brought a mosquito net for her,” said Runumi, who has moved police to register cases against her father, employers and alleged rapists.
“The boys, who also come from disadvantaged families and are in the age group of 14-16, were into substance abuse and had drugged the girl before assaulting her,” she said.
The boys, who the girl had pointed out at an identification parade, underwent a bone marrow test yesterday for determination of their age. If convicted, they will have to spend three years in a juvenile home.
While the girl’s former employers will be booked for employing a child — a crime that carries a prison term of three months to two years with a fine — a source associated with the case said, “The victim’s father may be asked to undergo counselling because putting him behind bars could pose more problems for the family. The mother works as a domestic. So she, too, will be away from home. Her elder brother is a handyman.”
Runumi said, “We are carrying out an awareness drive. The police have also promised help but it will not be enough unless all citizens discharge their social responsibility. Since April, the commission has registered 76 child abuse cases across Assam. In case of the girl child, it is mostly sexual or physical abuse. Sadly, she is often abused by known people, including relatives.”