‘Whatever happened was bad, but I want to study and become a police officer’
AMRUTA BYATNAL, The Hindu
On September 24, a 16-year-old Dalit girl in Maharashtra’s Dhule district was gang-raped twice in broad daylight — first, by a group of men, including her boyfriend, and then by a gang of labourers who witnessed the crime. Surekha (name changed) has recovered from her injuries and looked remarkably composed when The Hindu visited her. She is determined to return to her studies and join the police. “Whatever happened was bad, but that will not stop me from going back to school. I want to study and become a police officer,” she told The Hindu.
An 11th Standard student, Surekha is from the Mahar caste. She was first gang-raped by four upper-caste Maratha men she knew, including her boyfriend of two years. And then she was brutalised by four labourers from the Bhil tribe who had witnessed her ordeal. All eight have been arrested and charged with rape and violation of The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The incident, however, came to light on October 1, when one of the accused told a local newspaper about the incident. He did this in a bid to shift the blame on the other accused, the police say.