An 18-year-old survivor from the Muzaffarpur girls’ shelter, where a succession of inmates had been sexually abused for years, was allegedly gang-raped in a moving car on Friday night, less than 14 months after being rehabilitated and reunited with her family on the orders of a local court.
The girl lodged a complaint with Bettiah town police station in Bihar’s West Champaran district on Saturday, saying she was abducted in a car after being waylaid on her way to a relative’s house the previous evening. She said that the vehicle hit Bettiah-Pakhnaha Road and didn’t stop once as four men took turns raping her.
After the assault, the perpetrators dropped the survivor near her house. “She was so frightened that she didn’t report what had happened to her until the next day,” an officer said. “We forwarded her complaint to the women’s police station.”
Muzaffarpur survivor was trying to reclaim her life
The FIR names Akash Kumar, Raj Kumar, Dinanath Kumar and Kundan Kumar, all residents of Ilam Ram Chowk in Bettiah, as the four men who assaulted the girl. Akash and Raj are brothers. None of them had been arrested till Sunday evening.
“We are awaiting the survivor’s medical report. All four accused have evaded arrest so far,” Poonam Kumari, the station house officer of Bettiah women’s police station, said.
Mamta Jha, assistant director of the Bettiah Child Protection Unit, met the girl at Bettiah Government Medical College and Hospital on Sunday. “She has been living with her family since July last year.
She was starting to reclaim her life when this happened,” Jha told TOI over phone.
The 18-year-old was part of the first batch of girls to be shifted from Muzaffarpur Balika Grih to a Mokama shelter after the horror story of their abuse at the hands of officials and outsiders came to light. She received Rs 7 lakh in compensation after returning home from the Mokama shelter in Patna district. The girl’s father is a daily-wage worker in Nepal. In its social audit report last year, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences had highlighted the physical, sexual and mental abuse of inmates in most of the women’s shelters across 35 districts of Bihar.