Stir as tribal girl dies 5 days after as­sault

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Dharma­puri: After a 16-yearold tribal girl of Sitling suc­cumbed to in­juries, sus­tained dur­ing an al­leged sex­ual as­sault five days ago, at Govern­ment Dharma­puri Hos­pi­tal on Satur­day, her rel­a­tives staged a road roko against al­leged neg­li­gence by au­thor­i­ties. They re­fused to ac­cept the body un­til the ac­cused were ar­rested.

FIVE days after a 16-year-old tribal girl was al­legedly raped by two youth, the vic­tim suc­cumbed to in­juries at the govern­ment Dharma­puri hos­pi­tal on Satur­day. The death trig­gered an im­promptu protest, with the rel­a­tives of the de­ceased stag­ing a road block­ade against the al­leged neg­li­gence by po­lice and hos­pi­tal au­thor­i­ties. They also re­fused to ac­cept the body of the de­ceased un­til the ac­cused were im­me­di­ately ar­rested. The tribal res­i­dents of Sitling re­fused to dis­perse un­til the col­lec­tor gave an as­sur­ance. Over 500 res­i­dents from 20 vil­lages par­tic­i­pated in the protest.

Sources said that the sex­ual as­sault took place on Mon­day when the 16-year-old had gone to at­tend na­ture’s call. She was al­legedly ac­costed and raped by Satish (22) and Ramesh (23), res­i­dents of the same vil­lage. The girl was found in an un­con­scious state by other vil­lagers, who alerted the fam­ily of the vic­tim. A case was regis- tered the same day and the girl was handed over to the Child Wel­fare Com­mit­tee (CWC) by the po­lice. Mean­while, the girl’s con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated at the CWC Home on Mon­day evening. Sources said that the girl suf­fered a bout of vom­it­ing and fainted sev­eral times. The girl was taken to govern­ment Dharma­puri hos­pi­tal, where she died.

This is where the de­tails get murky. CWC Chair­man Sar­a­vanan told Ex­press that the po­lice brought the girl to them and in­tro­duced her as a vic­tim of at­tempted rape. Sar­a­vanan claimed to have no knowl­edge of the girl be­ing a rape vic­tim. When asked why the CWC did not in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter, he said that they re­frained as the girl was in trauma, and was scared. Though they wanted to in­ter­ro­gate the girl the next day, she fell ill and was ad­mit­ted to the hos­pi­tal, which took four days to get the test re­sults. “Had the po­lice or the hos­pi­tal au­thor­i­ties in­formed us of rape, we would have ex­pe­dited the probe,” Sar­a­vanan added.

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