Babita Rajak at MGM Medical College and Hospital in Sakchi on Wednesday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
A policeman’s wife, who is five months into pregnancy, was allegedly left battered and bruised by her in-laws in Jamshedpur for refusing to undergo a prenatal test.
Babita Rajak (24), a resident of Daiguttu in Mango, was admitted to MGM Medical College and Hospital in Sakchi late on Tuesday night with both external and internal injuries. Doctors said they could determine the condition of her unborn baby only after an ultrasound.
Police have not made any arrests so far, citing twin complaints from the victim’s family as well as from Babita’s brother-in-law, a JAP-VI jawan, against her cousin who tried to save her.
According to Babita, her police constable husband Bijay Kishore Rajak (30), posted in Garhwa, was not present at the time of the assault, but was the key factor behind it because he wanted a son.
“Ever since I was tested positive (for pregnancy), my husband and in-laws kept pressing for a sex determination test at a local clinic. They are so keen on having a boy that they even threatened to kill the foetus (by forcing me to undergo abortion) if it were a girl,” Babita narrated her ordeal from her hospital bed, exposing how the unethical practice was still prevalent in an elite city.
“But, I stood my ground against a prenatal test and they got very angry. My husband’s brother Ajay Rajak, mother and sisters threatened me with dire consequences. Around 11pm yesterday, they once again broached the issue and I opposed. They dragged me onto the floor and started punching and kicking me,” the victim told reporters from her hospital bed.
Babita said that her screams brought her cousin Vikas Rajak, who lives in the same neighbourhood, to her rescue. “But, my brother-in-law attacked him with an axe, causing grievous head injuries.”
Babita’s mother, Jagat Rani, who has rushed to Mango from Noamundi in West Singhbhum, said Bijay Rajak’s family first tortured her daughter for dowry and now they were forcing her to go against the law.
“We got Babita married in January last year. We spent Rs 14 lakh on the wedding. But, her husband and his family never stopped asking for more (in cash and kind). Now, they want a boy and want her to do the test,” Jagat Rani, who helped Babita lodge a complaint with Mango police, said.
Mango OC Laxman Prasad admitted having received the complaint, but said no action could be taken against the Rajaks before a through probe.
“We have received two FIRs — one against the husband and in-laws, the other against the woman’s cousin. The second says the brother wanted to take her home and clashed with her in-laws over the matter. We have to investigate the matter before taking any action,” OC Prasad added.
A doctor on emergency duty who attended to Babita confirmed internal injuries. “We will get a complete picture of the nature of injuries after ultrasonography and X-ray,” he said.
East Singhbhum SSP Amol V. Homkar said the assault on a pregnant woman could not be taken lightly. “Police will investigate the case thoroughly and the guilty will be punished irrespective of whether some of them belong to the department,” he said, adding he would monitor the probe personally.
Do you know of any other case of atrocities against women?