THEME 5: ROLE OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY IN FUELING FEUDAL, CASTEIST POWER DYNAMICS
CASE STUDY: DOCUMENTING OF SEXUAL ASSAULT TO SILENCE SURVIVORS
Age of the survivors: 17 years, 14 years, 16 years
Date: May 2015
Four accused persons have been raping three Dalit survivors, all from the same family for one and a half years. Two of the three girls are sisters, while the third one is their cousin. All of them are minors between the ages of 14 to 17. They were raped in multiple places, including the school premises and the village library. The accused even captured the rape on their phones and then threatened the survivors with dire consequences, if they reported the incident to anyone.
There was a significant delay in registering an FIR, but with the guidance of Navsarjan Trust, an NGO, it was finally done. The survivors wanted one FIR for the three rapes. However, the local police refused to acknowledge the grievous nature of the crime of torturing all three sisters together. Hence three separate FIRs were registered. A case was registered under IPC sections 376 (rape) and 114 (abetment) along with Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The survivors also got police protection. The accused persons are currently in judicial custody and the trial in the case is going on. Two of the rape survivors were married off by their families meanwhile, and the third one is still in the village.
Activists from Navsarjan Trust and other dalit rights activists based in Gujarat have mentioned that this was a unique case where three dalit girls from one family were trapped, gang raped, video taped for almost one and half years.