Family of Kannauj ‘rape’ victim seek govt aid, demand punishment against accused

Image used for representational purposes

A minor girl was found severely beaten and lying unconscious near a government guesthouse in the Kannauj district of Uttar Pradesh on October 23. 

Huneza Khan | 

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NEW DELHI —  The family of a 10-year-old Muslim girl who was allegedly raped and severely beaten in the Kannauj district of Uttar Pradesh on October 23 have urged the government to provide medical aid for the victim’s treatment. 

The victim was found lying injured and unconscious near Daak Bangla Circuit House, Gursahaigang in Kannauj on October 23. In the videos shared online, the girl is seen bleeding. A group of onlookers are seen recording videos of the girl even as she can be seen feebly moving her hand. In another video, a policeman is seen taking the girl to a hospital in an autorickshaw. The police later filed a first information report (FIR) against one accused. A week later, a fresh FIR was filed against 20 unknown people for disclosing the minor girl’s identity through videos uploaded online. spoke with the victim’s father Panna who is a resident of Gursahaiganj village of Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh. Panna said that around half past noon on October 23, his 10-year-old daughter went out to exchange a broken piggy bank in the market. As per him, “the assailants abducted her from there and took her to the PWD aka Daak Bangla building. There she was brutally beaten and left unconscious in a pool of blood.”

“She was missing for a couple of hours. The culprit lured her for something and she probably followed. A policeman informed us about the incident. She has now gained consciousness but she is still critical,” the girl’s father said. The parents are allowed to meet her only for a few minutes.

He said that the local politicians and police administration raised funds for the minor’s treatment, “We have strong support from the police department but received no aid from the government. Neither did we get any assurance from top officials,” Panna said. 

He demanded justice for his daughter. 

Shanu, a cousin of the victim told that “the family is devastated by the incident.”

 “Her head was severely damaged. She was not raped as per the police and doctors. An accused named Ramji did this cruelty to my sister. He is absconding,” said Shanu.

Shanu claimed that the accused Ramji is a resident of a neighbouring village of Khudaganj. He is a stranger to the minor’s family. An FIR has been registered but the accused is yet to be arrested. He lauded the Gurshaiganj police for their “immense cooperation.” Shanu claimed that the police arranged 6 lakh rupees for the treatment. 

Shanu additionally informed that they received no aid from the government. “Neither the DM nor the CM has arrived to visit the family,” Shanu said. 

He was furious over the crowd who instead of helping the poor girl kept shooting videos. “Those fools don’t have any idea that it may happen to anyone. Would they shoot a video if it was their girl? It was their duty to rush her to the hospital,” he said.  

Poor kin seek govt aid
The 10-year-old victim is the eldest daughter of her parents. She has three younger siblings. Her father is a labourer who makes about 200 rupees a day. Kanpur Regency Hospital is charging 1 lakh rupees a day for the girl’s treatment. Her mother has sold her jewellery to bear the hospital expenses but as per them, “that will not be sufficient.” 

Shanu emphasized government support for the girl’s treatment. “It is my appeal to the government to arrest the culprit and help the girl in treatment. I request the Prime Minister and Chief Minister to take cognizance and safeguard her future,” he said. attempted to talk to police officials at the Gursahaiganj police station. The Station House Officer (SHO) Raj Kumar Singh was reluctant to pass on any information. “The victim has gained consciousness. She will be discharged from the hospital within a day or two. We are conducting raids in search of the accused,” SHO Singh said and disconnected the call. 

Kunwar Anupam Singh, the Superintendent of Police, in Kannauj said that an FIR has been registered against one suspected accused at the Gursahaiganj police station. He said that the accused’s identity has been established and the onlookers have been booked under POCSO Act, IPC Sections, and IT Act. 

“The preliminary reports are not conclusive. It doesn’t confirm rape. We have sent samples to the Forensic Science Laboratory which will clear things up,” the SP said. 

The Print reported that the accused Ramji Verma is a frequent offender, and has four other cases against him, two of which are for sodomising and killing minor boys. 

The incident has caused outrage on social media and concerns have been raised against women’s safety in the BJP-ruled state. 

Sangeeta Sharma, a member of the Women’s Commission condemned the violence against a minor. She blamed the Yogi Adityanath government for failing to provide safety to minor girls and women. “These incidents expose the hypocrisy of the government. Laws are constituted but not practically implemented. The government has failed to inculcate the feeling of love and mutual support in society. We have turned into a society that doesn’t care about the plight of others. We only react when it comes to us which is saddening,” said Sangeeta. 

Huneza Khan is a student and a budding journalist from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. She tweets