Deserted by family, Ruby fights stress

Girl's handwriting sample taken • Students of Vaishali institute stare at uncertain future

By Joy Sengupta & Umakant Prasad Varma in Patna
  • Published 3.07.16
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Ruby Rai on way to the Bihar School Examination Board office on June 25

Patna, July 2: Ruby Rai, the disgraced intermediate arts "topper", is under utter stress - what psychologists feel is the last stage before having hallucinations and delusions.

Even today, when Ruby was brought to the special vigilance court around 1pm, she spoke with angst, visibly upset about the turn of events she had hardly wanted to be in.

" Mujhe bevakoof nabaa key yahan laaya gaya hai. Mujhe bola gaya tha ki mujhe mere ghar bheja jaa raha hai. Jail me theek se khaane ko bhi nahi milta hai. (I have been fooled and brought here. I was told that they are taking me home. In jail, I am not getting proper food even)," Ruby lashed out, losing her patience and stone-cold looks, which she always carried even after being sent to jail.

Psychologists said the girl needed help fast. "Her frustration is coming out. All this time, she was storing it inside her as she saw herself pinned down hard and helpless. When she was forced to do something, which she did not want to, she blasted. She is finding herself utterly hopeless now. The next stage could be hallucination and delusion. It is a known fact that the police do not behave well with people many a time. It is high time that the girl is brought before an expert psychologist for treatment as in such situation the police cannot help. The police should start showing some sensitivity towards her now," said clinical psychologist Binda Singh.

With the special investigation team (SIT) having made a request to the court to allow them for her handwriting match, she was sent first to the court of chief judicial magistrate and then to a judicial magistrate where she had to write.

Ruby, whose age is still to be ascertained, was furious for the first time since her arrest as she shouted and hurled abuses at anyone who tried to approach her.

The girl, a resident of the Sharma Amar village in Vaishali, 40km north of Patna, and a student of Vishun Roy College, had been arrested last Saturday after she had appeared in the board office to face a special exam. Her family members had left her alone near the board office and fled off after seeing the police.

Ruby was sent to Beur jail as she, according to the police, had not taken any plea in the court about her age.

Earlier this week, an NGO filed a petition on her behalf claiming that she was a minor and was wrongly confined in a jail. The special vigilance court will give its verdict on the petition filed on Monday.

The lawyers in the court were surprised and shocked seeing the girl so angry and restless.

"She was hurling abuses at everyone and no one, including the police, dared to ask her to calm down or ask any questions to her. The moment anyone would request her to calm down, she would just scream at the person. I have been watching her on television and the girl today was completely different. She seems to be in a lot of mental stress and losing patience fast," an advocate said.

Ruby claimed that last Saturday too, the police fooled her.

"I was made to write at least 50 answer sheets and the lady (judicial magistrate) just kept on asking me to write more and more. How can anyone write so much? It seems that the lady is heartless and does not have children of her own. Why have you brought me here? Why I am not being allowed to go home? The constables too behave badly with me. Sab log mere hi peeche pade hue hain (All are just troubling me only)," Ruby shouted as a police teamtook her back to Beur jail around 4pm.

Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj, who is heading the SIT, said the police had hardly any options.

"We too feel bad at times but we have to follow the procedure. Her handwriting sample taken today has been sent to the forensic science laboratory and investigations are on. It is very shocking that despite the girl being in jail, her parents have just deserted her and are on the run. They are doing a disgraceful job and the police will make sure that they are arrested. The girl will be looked after but the police have to do its job too," the officer said.