The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Husband deserts rape victim

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 9: Husband of a 27-year-old gang rape victim has allegedly expressed his hesitation to accept her.

The victim has also alleged that a police constable offered her a bribe and threatened, asking her to keep her mouth shut.

The woman, who was allegedly raped by five men on November 4 in Konark, told the The Telegraph: “My husband, who works as a labourer at Gwalior, had talked to me over phone and said he came to know about the incident, but it was not possible for me to return home.”

The rape victim is lodged at Maa Ghara, a home for destitute, where she is getting professional counselling. Her two daughters are also staying with her.

The woman, who is yet to recover from the trauma, was inconsolable. “Not only had my modesty been outraged, I have also lost my family,” she said with tears.

On the issue of being offered a bribe for silence, she said a few such attempts have occurred.

“A constable asked me not to identify someone in a red shirt and offered me a huge amount of money for the silence. Also, while I was taken to a Puri hospital by the police for medical tests, a woman and two youths approached me with a suitcase containing Rs 1 lakh. I was sitting inside the police jeep then. The trio fled as soon as I called a police personnel for help,” said the woman.

However, police at Konark police station expressed ignorance about the incident.

Sanatan Panigrahi of Konark police station said there was no mention of treats and bribes in her statement to the police.

An inquiry would be conducted if any constables were found involved, said a senior officer.

An independent fact-finding team of the State Commission for Women, which had visited the victim’s village in Satyabadi area of Puri district, had found the villagers “un-co-operative” and lacking sympathy.

“We did not think it proper to leave her alone in a situation like that and brought her with us,” said Rituparna Mohanty, the secretary of Maa Ghara.

“We have also demanded a class-IV job and a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the woman.”

Yesterday, the victim and some activists had met director-general of police G.C. Nanda and handed him a memorandum urging expediting the rape investigation.

The rape victim runs a tea kiosk at her village. Her husband had migrated in search of job.

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