BHUBANESWAR: Justice, sometimes, is a chimera for the socially weak. Who knows it better than the family of a 19-year-old girl, allegedly gang-raped and subjected to grievous injuries in Puri’s Pipili in November last year.
Unable to get justice from the police and appropriate treatment at hospitals, the victim’s father brought her to the State Commission for Women (SCW) here on Saturday. The victim, in a comatose state, lay bundled in an autorickshaw before she was rushed to Capital Hospital by City police.
SCW Chairperson Dr Jyoti Panigrahy visited her in the hospital. Given her critical condition and the absence of adequate health care facilities there, she was referred to SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack. The Cuttack hospital too returned the patient saying she was in a terminal stage. Babuli Behera, the victim’s father, had no option but to take her back home.
And this is not the first time. Earlier too, Behera, a resident of Arjunagada village under Pipili Police Station, had tried to seek treatment at these hospitals but was turned away.
On November 28, the girl was found in a distressed state near the village. Behera alleged that she was gang-raped by two persons who also attempted to asphyxiate her. The assailants had left her to die but the girl survived. She suffered serious injuries and slipped into a coma. The family had tried to get her treatment but without much success.
It was not about treatment alone. Behera alleged that he had tried to lodge a complaint with police which initially did not receive it. Once the FIR was registered, no action was taken against the accused, Behera said.
The victim was a key witness to a molestation that had occurred in the area in January 2008 when she too was assaulted. The girl was receiving regular threats since then while the case has gone on trial at Puri, her father said.
Panigrahy said the Commission wants police to initiate necessary action in the case so that she can get justice although she admitted that the complaint, lodged with police, does not mention many of the allegations. “Our first concern was to ensure that she gets medical attention since she is in a serious condition. We are monitoring the case and will take necessary action,” Panigrahy said.