BENGALURU: If everything had gone as planned, Pushpa (name changed) would have been preparing for her first wedding anniversary now. But days before her scheduled wedding on November 23 last year, she was raped by her cousin who lives in the neighbourhood. She attempted suicide a day before her marriage. The wedding was cancelled.
A year has passed and Pushpa’s life has turned from bad to worse: the 32-year-old Dalit victim now lives in a protection home in Mangaluru while her three-month-old baby is at an orphanage in another city. The accused, Ravindra (33), remains at large even as the police maintain that they are making all efforts to arrest him.
The victim’s brother told Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police Ravikanthegowda during the monthly SC/ST grievances meeting on Monday that the accused has moved an anticipatory bail application in the high court. Ravikanthegowda then instructed the Bantwal rural sub-inspector Ravindra to arrest the accused at the earliest. However, the victim’s relatives are not hopeful that the police will make any serious effort this time either. “I have been raising the matter in the last 5-6 monthly meetings and nothing has happened,” her brother told TNIE.
Meanwhile, the baby is suffering due to separation from her mother. The family chose to send the victim to the protection home run by a private organisation due to fear of social stigma that she could have faced in the village. The baby was admitted to the orphanage as they are not allowed to live in the protection home.
A woman known to the victim said that Pushpa is eager to return home and reunite with her baby but her parents are not yet ready for it. “It is sad that she is put to these kind of sufferings. The authorities should find a way out,” she said.