The Unnao Story: Rape. Trauma, Murder, Fear With the Girl and Her Mother Now Living in Abject Terror
Report by PMS
UNNAO/NEW DELHI: April 9, 2018. The Unnao rape survivor broke into tears as she spoke to a fact finding team of the ordeal she and her family have gone through after she was allegedly raped by a BJP law maker. A story of deep trauma, violence and impunity.
Her story as recorded by the Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan (PMS) team:
She stayed with her maternal uncle at Rae Bareilly where she studied upto Class 4. She left to join her parents at her home in Makhi village, district Unnon in Uttar Pradesh. They had family ties with Shashi Singh (now known to have been a close aide of BJP rape accused MLA Kuldip Singh Sengar) and the girl used to visit her often.
On June 11, 2017 the girl said that the Shubhjam Singh, son of Shashi Singh and a couple of other boys pulled her into a vehicle and took her to various places and did “galat kaam.” The fact finding team has said in its report that the girl has shared full details about the sexual violence but this is not being shared at the moment as the case is with the Central Bureau of Investigation.
On June 20, 2017, the girl was found by the Makhi police and was kept at the woman police station for ten days, till June 30, 2017. On that date she came to her chacha (uncle) in Delhi. She said that the MLA had got her abducted by the boys so that what he had done remained a secret, and this fact terrified her even more. Because of this fear she stayed on in Delhi, as those who had abducted her were free and were looking for her. In August the same year she told her aunt about the rape by the MLA. Till February her uncle, and her family tried to get justice from the authorities, writing to various organisations and offices.
When nothing worked her mother filed a petition under Section 156 of Cr. P.C. before the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Unnao for direction for lodging a FIR against Kuldeep Singh and Shashi Singh.
In the meanwhile her father had joined her uncle in Delhi. The hearing of the case filed under Section 156 was scheduled for April 3 2018. The survivor’s father came to Unnao town to meet his wife Asha (the survivor’s mother) as the latter had come to the Court located in Unnao to attend the court date and from there went to his house in Village Makhi. The survivor told the team that when they heard about her father being beaten up on April 3 she came to the village along with her chacha-chachi. Her father’s health was very bad because he had been badly beaten up and had also been sent to jail. On April 8 2018 the survivor again went to Lucknow with her chachi to meet Chief minister Yogi Adityanath but security officers stationed outside his office did not allow them to meet the CM. The survivor said that she then poured oil upon herself and set herself on fire. The police present there saved her and the survivor showed the PMS team the burn injuries she had sustained on her person. She further stated that her father died on April 9 and there were at least 75 marks of injury on and inside his body and his intestines were also torn.
While speaking to the PMS team, the report noted that the survivor was weeping repeatedly and appeared to be broken. She kept saying that the MLA got my father killed. She said that the jailor of Unnao is threatening the people of the village against giving evidence.
Atul, the brother of the MLA, beat up her father and was collecting people to give false witness against the survivor. She further said that if she had not complained against the (‘’kukaram’’) wrong act done by the MLA, my father would have been alive. She further said that because she had given a written complaint against the MLA and asked for action, that is why the MLA and his family sent threats to the survivor’s family that when Pappu Singh (i.e. the survivor’s father) comes this time we will parade him naked.
The survivor child was crying and repeatedly saying that “ all those who exploited me are roaming free and I have not got justice. The MLA will get us all killed. Get me Justice. I have become the guilty of my Father’s death, had I not complained he would not have been killed.”
The girl also said that had the administration supported me all this would not have happened. She said that if anyone speaks against the MLA and his brother Atul Singh in the village, he is beaten up by burning tyres.
The child also said that another chacha(uncle) named Tinku is missing since April 6. She said that her own medical was done on June 23 or 24 last year but the CBI has got her medical examination repeated on April 14, 2018. She said that all the officers of the police refused to register her FIR against the MLA and she has been going from pillar to post for Justice.
The survivor child’s grandmother (dadi) was at home when her son was taken out and killed. The report records her narration of the events: She said that their family and that of the MLA are all Rajputs. She was at home with the survivors elder sister aged 19 years and her two younger sisters together told us that on April 3, one Vinod Mishra jumped in from the roof of their house in Makhi village , unbolted the door and then Vinod Mishra and many other goons who worked for the MLA and his brother, pulled their father out of the house and beat him with lathis and rifle butts. The aged mother (i.e. dadi of survivor) and the daughters of the beaten man kept imploring that the beating should stop. When the daughters tried to shield his body they were pushed away. When the employee (of the chacha) who had accompanied Pappu Singh from Delhi tried to intervene, he was also beaten. The Dadi asserted that before her eyes her son was beaten brutally by Atul Singh and others. She said the MLA had punished Pappu Singh for meeting his aged mother and his children.
Asha, the survivors mother told the team when her husband Pappu Singh met her in the court in Unnao on April 3, he said he would go home to meet his mother and the children. She also said her husband had earlier visited the village on the Chedan festival and met the children. He said “ I very much want to meet the children and I will go to the village today”. She said that had “we not complained against MLA Kuldeep, there would not have been enemity.” She said her family has common agricultural land which is given on batai and the household runs on that small income. Now the whole family has been orphaned by her husband’s death. The survivor has been sent to her uncle (chacha) so that she remain secure.
The team comprising Advocate Shobha( President of PMS Delhi), Adv. Poonam (General Secretary, PMS Delhi) and Adv. Mamta (member, PMS Delhi) recorded interviews with the uncle, villagers and others. The girl and her mother were seen as terrified, crying throughout and saying that they would be killed.