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Surat Cops Careless & Carefree as Rapist Threatens Minor Survivor

Another minor raped in Surat. Despite the man threatening the family while on bail, they still have no protection.

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Surat, Gujarat has been in the news over the last few weeks after the gruesome gangrape and double murder of a mother-daughter duo in Pandesara area of the city caught the media’s attention. The case was finally handed over to Ahmedabad Crime Branch after the Surat police department was unable to find significant leads a week after the body was found on 6 April.

Now, a new rape case has come to light from Surat – this time, a six-year-old girl was raped by her 17-year-old neighbour in January.

The Surat police are in hot water in this case too after the family of the rape survivor alleged that police did not provide them with any protection even after the accused threatened them to retract the case while he was out on bail.

Family At Wits’ End

The rape survivor’s family hails from Ara district in Bihar and moved to Surat around 10 years ago. The child’s parents are differently abled; the mother is partially blind, and the father has a speech impediment. They reside in Pandesara area of Surat in a rented home and are financially struggling. The rape survivor has two elder brothers aged nine and 11.

When the father asked for protection, he says the police asked him to move his daughter to his relative’s home instead. The aggrieved father told The Quint:

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We don’t have any relatives who will take care of our daughter. So we decided to leave her at an orphanage. But she started crying profusely there. So, we couldn’t part with her and brought her back. We have not got any police protection as of now.
Father of Minor Rape Survivor

Satish Sharma, Commissioner of Surat Police, responded blithely to questions:

The juvenile and his brother have been arrested after they threatened the family. If the family wants protection, they can approach us and demand for the same. As far as dropping the child at an orphanage goes, it has nothing to do with the police department.
Satish Sharma, Commissioner of Police, Surat
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From Right Under Her Parents’ Noses

On 10 January 2018, the girl and her father left home to attend a satsang programme nearby. According to the survivor’s mother, the 17-year-old accused who is their neighbour, lured the girl with chocolates when her father was not watching. He took her to a deserted place nearby and raped the little girl in the bushes.

After committing the heinous crime, he injured the girl with thorns and left her bloodied. In a clumsy attempt to prevent her from narrating the crime, he even punctured her tongue with thorns.

All the while, her mother thought that her daughter was with her husband at the Satsang, while the father thought that the girl was with his wife as he could not find her at the satsang programme. Passers-by heard the girls cries and brought her home to her family.

The girl was rushed to the Civil Hospital in Surat where she recovered enough on 11 January to be able to tell her mother what happened. The accused was identified and nabbed two days later. A case was lodged at Pandesara Police Station and the accused was sent to a juvenile home in Surat. However, he got bail and was out again as soon as February this year.

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Juvenile Gets Bail and Threatens Family

On 17 February, the accused and his brother came to the girl’s home after her father had left for work. He threatened her partially blind mother, who told The Quint:

The boy came to our home and told my sons to inform me that we better retract the case, or he will murder them. When I came out, he threatened me that he will hit me so hard that I will go completely blind. I took my sons behind me and we locked ourselves inside the home. I was afraid that they could take a knife and stab us and I wouldn’t be able to see it. We waited hungry and thirsty all day till my husband returned home.
Minor Rape Survivor’s Mother

The survivor’s father immediately rushed to the police station and the accused was arrested again. According to the father, the accused and his brother both accepted before the police that they did pay a visit to the rape survivor’s home.

At the time of writing this article, the juvenile is in police custody.

But Surat police have still not provided this family with the protection they say they need.

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