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Tuesday, 25 August 2009

16-year-old raped by dad, uncle

(Please click on blog title to read the actual article from the Times Of India)

NAGPUR: The story of a pregnant 16-year-old girl, rescued by neighbours of Vandevi slums recently from the clutches of her 35-year-old father,

brought to the fore the grotesque brutality she was made to undergo at home. She has been suffering at the hands of her uncle and then herfather for years in Uttar Pradesh and later in city. Neetu (name changed), joined the ranks of the hapless girls who were not spared by the persons whom they trusted the most.

Neetu had lost her mother Chanda when she was just an infant. She desperately looked upon her father to rescue her from an uncle in Uttar Pradesh who was exploiting her repeatedly. Her father did ‘rescue’ her in 2008, but allegedly started forcing himself upon her.

The pregnant girl, sick and mentally upset, is now sheltered at government’s girls’ hostel. Yashodhara Nagar police have arrested father Gurucharan Yadav, alias Gopal, on Sunday. Yadav was nearly lynched by Vandevi Nagar residents before police saved him. He is reminiscent of Austria’s dungeon dad Josef Fritzl and Mumbai businessman Kishore Chowdhury.

The girl, whose case is similar to that of a teenager from Hingna who had indicted her father for rape recently, has named her dad and his younger brother as tormentors.

Neetu had studied till eighth standard in Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh and was keen to continue further. Though the account of her early years could not be known, it is learnt that Neetu had to strive hard to survive since her mother died and father remarried. She had to work as domestic help too.

Yadav left his daughter and migrated to city some years ago. He started earning his livelihood as an auto-rickshaw driver. Meanwhile, he had a son and a daughter from his second wife Nirmala. Neighbours claimed Nirmala, apparently left disgusted by Yadav lifestyle, left him.

“We were curious about the girl. Yadav said she was his daughter. Once I went to see what was going on inside the shanty and was aghast to find him (Yadav) in his towel. There were two pillows on the bed,” said neighbour Noorjahan Quereshi adding that she was sensing some foul play as the girl was never allowed to mingle much with others.

The matter came to fore when Farzana Banoo, another neighbour, was approached by the distraught girl who told Banoo she needed help. “Her father (Yadav) had once urged me to look after her as she was not well. I was shocked when she told me her father was having physical relations with her. I immediately urged her to stop coming to me as it was against my religious belief and there are children who come for spiritual lesson at home,” said Banoo.

They could ignore no longer when the girl started having ill-health. Yadav and three neighbours-- Quereshi, Shaikh Raju and Hamida Begum-- took Neetu to a health centre at Shanti Nagar. She was referred to another clinic at Kamal chowk. There she was discovered to be pregnant.

“We approached the girl the following day in absence of her father to know the truth,” said a neighbour adding that the girl was being sheltered at different places in city including Pension Nagar before she was brought here. “She divulged the facts,” said the neighbour.

She also told them her uncle had raped her repeatedly when his wife was away at native place for delivery. “Yadav and the girl were away from home for a day. When they returned, we challenged Yadav and contacted the police,” neighbour Raju said.

Senior inspector Rajendra Pardesi, in-charge of Yashodhara Nagar police station, said that police wanted to concentrate on the culprit (Yadav) who is in the custody. “It would be better if we decide to make a strong case out of the apprehended culprit and not make it too complicated,” said Pardeshi indicating he did not intent to pursue Yadav’s younger brother although the girl has clearly named him too.

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