Bulandshahr Rape: Media Makes Survivors Wish They Didn’t Return

“Please leave us alone. I wish we had never returned,” the victim’s father told the media. 

3 min read
Hindi Female

A 38-year-old woman and her teenage daughter were gangraped in Bulandshahr on the morning of 30 July.

The gruesome incident also made headlines for reasons other than the act itself – a political slugfest after opposition parties accused ruling Samajwadi Party of “protecting and appeasing” and senior minister Azam Khan describing it as an outcome of political conspiracy against the UP government.

The family, who returned to their Noida residence after the incident, now wishes they hadn’t.


The Media Spectacle

The colony where they stay is teemed with reporters, camera-persons and locals who have flocked to the spectacle that this incident has become, reported Hindustan Times.

“The camera persons – some of them perched on terraces – jostle to get the right shot, while reporters are fighting for a space to do their piece-to-camera. Amid the circus, the girl’s father stands with a blank face, clueless.”

Some of the locals stood on the street guiding people to the girl who was raped. Everybody knows the exact address of the family, and are more than happy to help any newcomer who wants to witness the spectacle.

One of the reporters at the spot asked the father of the girl to hide his face with a handkerchief and give a byte.

The media insensitivity is shocking as TRP hungry news channels and their reporters cannot wait to send visuals back to the newsroom.

The constant stream of visitors has also been the cause why the teenage girl is unable to speak with the two female counsellors who have been assigned to help her with the trauma.

“The two women have been visiting the victims’ home since Monday — when the family returned — but have not been able to do their job due to the rush of visitors, said a police official deputed at the house,” reported the publication.

‘I Wish We Had Never Returned’

How many times should I repeat what happened with my daughter and my wife? They have been raped. What else do you want to know? My daughter was better till last night. With all the people visiting, she is now being asked to recall everything again. She has fallen sick again. She cannot stop crying. Please leave us alone. I wish we had never returned.
The father to Hindustan Times

Some journalists adept at camera skills have laid charpoys near the family’s house. Sometimes, politicians also visit the house. The family said “it was impossible for them to stay at their house after the incident as everybody now knows what happened to them,” the report added.

And all this continues to happen despite the fact that a rape victim’s name and identity is legally never supposed to be disclosed.

The moment media and politicians land at their residence, the purpose is defeated. Everyone knows who was raped and all locals talk about it. Legally, if the family wants, they can move court against such politicians and media but they are not aware of their rights.
Shilpi Jain, advocate to Hindustan Times

The house is also thronged by neighbours, who gather to catch a glimpse of all the politicians who come to meet the family. Their sentiment towards the incident is sadly telling.

Now everyone is going to look at her differently. After all, what happened is very shameful. They should have quietly gone to their village . Why return here?
A neighbour to Hindustan Times
“Please leave us alone. I wish we had never returned,” the victim’s father told the media. 
Candle light march for the rape suvivor in Aurangabad. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Tulsidas Bhoite)

The Doctor Said We Were Lying: Rape Survivor

The nightmare for the family began on the morning of 30 July. The two women were raped for nearly three hours.

After the family reached a nearby hospital, the doctor “was far from comforting”, reported NDTV.

The teenager was told to “sit quietly in a corner”, according to the family.

I had bruises all over, my daughter was bleeding but the doctor didn’t believe us. She said we were lying about her condition. 
The 38-year-old rape survivor told NDTV

They also alleged that the police did not come to help them.

“It took us hours to convince cops to send a team. When they finally came we had to beg them to register our case, they didn’t believe us,” one of the kin told the channel.

(Source: PTI, Hindustan Times and NDTV.)

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