Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rape survivor now mother, seeks DNA test on 6 accused

 After motherhood was forced upon her and her six tormentors were arrested, this minor gang-rape survivor from Jabalpur is gearing for more battles.

Rani Thakur (name changed) wants nothing less than amendments to the law to ensure a secure future for her newborn baby. Her lawyer has faxed a petition to the Union law ministry and the law secretary, demanding "provisions ensuring mandatory DNA test of rapists and grant of maintenance for the child by the biological father under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act 2012 (PCSOA)".

And, unaware of the hurdles and loopholes in law, the 16-year-old single mother is waiting for a miracle.

Prosecution lawyer D K Jain said Rani told him she was taken in by the glib talk of an old acquaintance, Ankit Mudia, during a train journey from Gotegaon town to Jabalpur. Mudia, who was doing his graduation from Jabalpur, persuaded her to accompany him to his house there and search for a job. Once Rani reached Mudia's one-room accommodation in Baldeo Bagh, she discovered five more men lying in wait for her. And her ordeal began.

The six accused allegedly held Rani captive for three months and turned her into a sex slave. During this time, the teenager was not allowed to step out or talk to anyone in the neighbourhood.

The men panicked when they suspected Rani had become pregnant. Mudia took her to a gynaecologist for an abortion, but the doctor refused. The accused then took Rani by train to her father Babloo Thakur's home in Gotegaon and left.

"A police inquiry later revealed the boys, all college students from well-off families, had rented the room only for the shady activity," said Jabalpur superintendent of police Harinarayan Chari Mishra.

The six men were arrested after the rape survivor lodged a complaint at Madan Mahal police station on June 25. Rani was five months pregnant at the time.

"The matter is pending before the special judge, Jabalpur," Mishra said. "The court framed charges against the accused on October 18."

The next hearing has been scheduled for November 12, said Jain, who has pitched for the legal reforms. With four minors raped every day in MP, this is the least one would expect from the Centre, he said.

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