CHITRAKOOT: Life has been turned upside down for the family of the woman whose alleged rape by minister Gayatri Prajapati has come to dominate the UP poll scene in the most unexpected manner. While Gayatri, a Samajwadi Party candidate in Amethi, went about canvassing despite the supposed manhunt launched by the UP police, the woman’s children have stayed cooped up in their house in Chitrakoot, shamed by a social media campaign against them.
Their sister lies traumatized by in the AIIMS in Delhi and the mother is away looking after her. Back home, in this extremely backward town, the other three children -- two daughters and one son – have been confined to their homes for the past several months.
Ever since the mother of four took on one of the most powerful ministers in the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet, the three children live alone with no elder family member around.
At the entrance of their house sit a three-member police team headed by a daroga (inspector) who keep watch on the street. The only regular visitor is the family servant.
The two girls are pursuing BA, first and second year respectively.
“They have not gone to college for several months ever since their mother first approached the DGP to lodge a complaint against Prajapati. Now, after the Supreme Court directed the UP police to register a case against Prajapati, they have not been seen outside,'' a close family member disclosed to New Indian Express.
So scared are the two girls that they have changed their mobile numbers so that only their mother can contact them. ''The situation is that the mother cannot leave the traumatized daughter by herself at AIIMS and come here to take care of the remaining three children. Her husband left her long time ago and she raised the children all by herself,'' says the family member who looked after one of the children when she fell ill.
''She was suffering from typhoid and malaria and I took her to the government hospital for a check-up. Her mother was in Delhi but when she learnt about her condition, she quietly came to Chitrakoot for two days, looked after her and left. Four days later, the Supreme Court directed the police to register a case. The girl recovered by herself. Most of her relatives including my family now stay away from the family. Who knows, we may land in some kind of trouble. Prajapati is a powerful man,'' he said.
The rape victim's only son, a sixth standard student, has not gone to school for several months. It was only after the Supreme Court intervened that policemen have been deployed at the house from February 27.
Last year, the rape victim had started construction of a three-storeyed house. Though construction was underway, it had to be stopped abruptly due to the developments. Many locals say that the woman may not return to Chitrakoot at all. “Who will save her here? She is better off in Delhi. I think even the other three children will have to go to Delhi. Staying here would mean a constant threat,'' says a friend of one of the girls, who did not want to be identified.
She recalls that she last met one of the girls almost two months ago, when she had gone to the Ramghat area to make some purchases. ''Even then, it was I who greeted her but she appeared lost in thought. Later, she smiled at me and walked away. They have not been coming to college for long and have missed the notes and exams as well,'' she said.