Vikram (Bihar), Oct. 29: Index number 39. Body sent by Vikram PS. Unknown (victim). PM under Dr R.. Prasad.
Incomprehensible on first reading, these cold, crisp words of the Danapur Sadar Hospital record book are about a 14-year-old girl who was picked up by truckers from Kishangunj, 400 km from here, and allegedly gangraped before being dumped by the roadside.
She lay like that for 30 days till a journalist shifted her to a health centre. “I came to know about the girl on October 20. I shifted her to Aspura Health Centre where the doctor advised her to be shifted to Patna Medical College and Hospital,” said Chandrabhusan, a teacher and a scribe with a Hindi daily. “She was shifted back to her place on the roadside. On October 24, she expired. Police intervened only after she died.”
With murders and kidnappings dominating headlines, the teen’s story barely found a place in the district pages of local dailies. Even the doctor who did the post-mortem could not remember her. “Which girl are you talking about' I don’t exactly remember,” Prasad said, when asked about the post-mortem report.
Strangely, in the hospital record book, the police report about the girl’s body was missing. “We have to trace (it) out. It is missing from the place where it should have been,” said Dr .K. Singh, the hospital’s deputy superintendent.
The callousness tells a familiar tale. But more shocking is the attitude of the police. “She used to sleep on the road near a bridge over a canal. She appeared to be mentally demented. Our only regret is that we did not shift her outside the jurisdiction of our police station. Her death here has brought us a bad name,” said P.. Singh, the officer-in-charge of Vikram police station.
B. Kullu, the inspector of the police station, said they have not been able to identify the truck which dumped her. “She was in a dirty dress. After all, it was not a police case. We had nothing to investigate,” he said.
It was on the night of September 22 that the teenager was reportedly abandoned in this small business town under Patna district, 80 km from the state capital. A highway connects Vikram to Patna and it is common practice among truck drivers coming from Kishangunj to pick up women along the way.
According to police, girls often go missing from villages along the highway. They suspect gangs involved in flesh trade pick up the girls. Asked if the 14-year-old was a victim of one such gang, the police in Vikram had no answer. “There aren’t any clues,” said Kullu.
Some shopkeepers who did speak to her said she described herself as Kusum and used to mumble “Ammi, ammi”, which made them think she was a Muslim. Some said she also used to say her father was D.D. Singh. But, by all accounts, she did say she was from Kishangunj.
“I tried to feed her milk one day and asked what was her ailment. She said she had pain in her private parts. She was bleeding, too. This made us think she had been gangraped,” said Rupesh Chowdhary, a trader. It was in this condition that Chandrabhusan found her.
“It is a shame that the hospital in Aspura failed to clean her up and put her on saline. She could have survived and her parents could have been located,” said Anjar Mian, who tried to take the girl home but gave up fearing police harassment.