The police have arrested an auto driver and detained three other individuals after a 12-year-old girl, semi-naked and bleeding after allegedly being raped, went from door to door seeking help. However, people only stared at her and refused to help. One man even shooed her away as she approached him for help.
The auto driver was identified as 38-year-old Rakesh. The police said that the minor survivor had boarded an auto at Jeevan Kheri, according to CCTV footage. A forensic examination also found blood stains in the auto. The identities of those who have been detained have been kept under wraps as of now.
The police also added that, according to retrieved CCTV footages, the minor survivor had walked for 8 kilometres on foot, seeking help.
The visuals of the girl asking for help were captured by a CCTV camera at Badnagar Road, about 15 km from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.
Ujjain Minor Rape Survivor Denied Help
The girl was roaming in the streets with a rag that barely covered her when she eventually reached an ashram. The priest suspected sexual violence, covered her with a towel, and rushed her to a district hospital. The doctors confirmed rape after conducting a medical examination.
Describing the horrifying incident, the priest, identified as Rahul Sharma, said that he found the girl bleeding and half naked. “Her eyes were swollen, and she could not speak,” he told NDTV. when he was leaving the ashram around 9.30. He gave her his clothes and contacted the Mahakar police station, and they reached the ashram in about 20 minutes.
He added that he assured her that she’s safe and asked her name and family so that he could get in touch with them, but she was too scared to speak.
As the girl had sustained serious injuries, she was rushed to a hospital in Indore. When she needed blood, police personnel came forward to help, and now her condition is said to be stable.
Senior police officer Deepika Shinde asked the girl about her identity, but she could not answer coherently.
Police have filed a case of rape against an unidentified accused. A case under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has also been invoked.
The Police Chief of Ujjain, Sachin Sharma, said that a special investigation team (SIT) has been formed to identify and nab the perpetrator. He also appealed to the people to inform them if they received any information.
He further said that the location of the crime is being investigated and will soon be found. Although the minor girl was not able to tell them about her identity, he added that her accent suggested she could hail from Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh.
This terrifying incident once again highlights the alarming rate of crimes against women in Madhya Pradesh. According to the National Crime Records Bureau data for 2021, Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of rapes and the highest number of disappearances of women and girls between 2019 and 2021. Almost two years have passed, yet the scenario continues to remain the same. It's heartbreaking to come across crimes against women in the state so frequently.
Is Society Becoming Apathetic?
In light of this incident, most of us would be familiar with bystander syndrome. But this is another level of inhumanity. How can people see a young girl, half-naked, bleeding, and not offer help? The least people could have done was call an ambulance and inform the cops. Is that too much to expect? How is it earthly possible for people to be this insensitive towards a child?
People avoid this kind of scenario because they are aware of how problematic it appears to be, and they would rather not deal with all the complications that go along with it. But if it were someone they knew—their daughter, sister, friend, etc.—would people react the same way? Why should people only show compassion if they know the affected person?
That little girl who asked for help is also someone’s daughter, sister, and friend. Regardless, isn’t it a basic courtesy to offer help to a little girl in distress? It's disheartening to watch how insensitive and self-centred society has become, and humanity is having an existential crisis!
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Views expressed by the author are their own