The image above shows the wooden door of a two-room rented tenement where a child has scribbled with chalk, “Sorry Amma!” The message is addressed to her mother. The child is a 12-year-old girl who was raped by more than 30 monsters in the last two years in a town of the Malappuram district in Kerala. Last Saturday, on her way to a rehabilitation home, the victim apologised to her mother.
The men who raped this girl were acquaintances of her father. Both the parents were aware of the sexual abuse of their daughter, but they were allegedly silenced by money. Even after the tragedy, the daughter does not want her father to be punished because if the father is imprisoned, their family will be hit by an economic crisis.
The girl’s family had been living in the present location for the past five years. Many people living in his neighbourhood were aware that something ‘wrong’ was happening in his house. But they ignored it. “We heard screaming and crying sounds of that girl at night often. People kept coming to her house through the nights. But we did not interfere in their family matters. We also care about our daughters,” said a neighbour of the victim.
Sexual abuse of this girl started when she was just 10 years old. But the matter came to light not before this student of Class 8 narrated her ordeal in a counseling session.
Her school is just 500 m from the rented house. The counsellor said that she was as surprised to learn of the victim’s suffering. Despite the horror she has been through, the child barely in her teens was pained by the thought that she was not able to contribute to her family’s income.
The incident in Kerala has now caught public attention nationwide.
Kerala gang-rape victim does not realise the injustice done to her
The counsellor working with the Kerala Public Education Department said, “When the child was asked what was going on in her house, she started crying. She said that her family comprised a sick grandmother and that the economic condition of the house is very bad. They are not able to pay the rent of the house. She is worried that if her father is arrested, the family would be in deep financial trouble. The victim does not even realise that she has been abused.”
The counsellor said that the victim told her first a friend of her father raped her. This person used to give money to her family. Later, more people became involved in her sexual exploitation. There was a third person who used to recover money from all these people. That person had never met the victim earlier. The girl’s father is unemployed and it seems that he also pushed the victim’s mother into prostitution.
POCSO will apply
Sub-inspector Naushad Ibrahim of the Tirurangadi police station said, “The victim’s statement was recorded on Sunday in front of a magistrate. The medical report confirmed rape.” Three people, including the girl’s father, were arrested on Sunday night. These two acquaintances of the father will be prosecuted under Sections 354 and 376 of the POCSO Act and IPC while the girl’s father has been booked under the Juvenile Justice Act.
The DSP of Malappuram echoed what the counsellor had said while narrating the saga of the poor girl.
At her school, one of her classmates said that the victim did not talk to anyone. Her mother used to take her to school. Even during the lunch break, the girl was taken home, fearing that the girl might spill the beans.
When the girl’s health deteriorated following regular physical abuse heaped on her, she stopped going to school. Initially, nobody noticed it. Then a neighbour told the school authorities what had been happening in the house she came from. The girl was counselled and the sordid saga unravelled.
The victim’s mother denies all these allegations. She said, “This is a conspiracy. I want my daughter back.”