Rape at Tikri: those who knew of crime and stayed silent are culpable in crime

11th May 2021

11th May 2021

We would know in coming days who all were involved in the rape—and later death—of the girl who had stationed herself since April in Tikri where thousands of protesting farmers are staying put.

The simple truth out in regional newspapers—the Lutyens Media has far more important things like marketing of the Mumbai Model on mind—is that the girl was accompanied by six persons from West Bengal to Tikri. She was raped--possibly multiple times--during her stay. The Haryana police claims that many leaders of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha knew about the hell she was going through. But they allegedly kept it to themselves before she had to be admitted in a hospital due to her worsening Covid-positive condition. After four days in the hospital, she died on April 30. 

If she wasn’t suffering from Covid-19, who knows her ordeal of rape might have continued. We also don’t know if it was the concerned people who had brought the Covid to her due to their evil acts. We are also ignorant if she had been reduced to a hostage in this unfamiliar, hostile surrounding. We are also unsure if medical help was denied to a suffering young girl only because people around had possibly reduced her to just a piece of flesh. And this delay probably led to her death. It all sounds terribly inhuman. 

All we know is that the girl’s father met her in the hospital where she had been admitted on April 26. He had come from West Bengal on a phone call from a girl accompanying the victim who apparently was struck with conscience on what was happening to the latter. The victim was a supporter to the farmers’ cause and hence she had come all the way from West Bengal to Delhi’s gate at Tikri. 

Enter Yogendra Yadav into the picture. The political activist and a leader of the protesting farmer, held a press conference on Monday where he claimed that on April 24 he came to know from the victim herself that “something” was troubling her. Yadav then called her on more than one occasion, and now even claims that it was he who saved her from being abducted by her alleged rapists. Yadav of course didn’t pursue what was “troubling” the girl in the first place; and when the matter became serious enough for him to “order” the rapists to bring the girl back to Tikri, he still didn’t reach out to police.

The common sense conveys it’s next to impossible that in a crowded place, the matter could have remained a private one between a rapist and the rape-victim. Did it involve important people at the venue? Did the girl find herself one against the entire set up? Was she a captive, a hostage? That she couldn’t neither defend her honour or save her life? It's possible that the victim didn’t have access to phone since it was a fellow girl who, apparently moved by her plight, called her father at the crime spot. 

Further, even though the girl died on April 30, the matter was reported to police only on May 8. We could say that the father was distraught but what about the leaders of the protesting farmers? Was the father distraught or he was being dissuaded from reporting it to cops? What about Yogendra Yadav himself? He knew of “something wrong” happening to girl much before the father arrived from West Bengal. What did Yadav do for almost a week as the girl fought for her life? Didn’t he owe it to her to report the rapists to the police? Did he have to wait for the girl’s father to arrive from West Bengal? After all he knew something was wrong. 

A few conclusions are safe to summarize: (a) But for girl’s deteriorating health, one doesn’t know how long her ordeal would’ve continued; (b) It’s not as if only after girl’s father arrived at the venue, did Yogendra Yadav, and possibly other Kisan leaders, come to know of “something wrong” happening to the victim; and (c) Such delays in informing the police only help the culprits in arranging “facts” in their own favour; (d) And that this attempt to keep the matter “hush-hush” led to delay and possibly her death. 

A girl was raped and she is now dead. She came in support from a faraway land and all she got was physical abuse and an untimely death. It would be grossly unfair to blame only her rapists for her ordeal. Those who knew she was suffering, and did nothing, are culpable in this crime. One hopes they are not spared by the investigating authorities. Even if Lutyens Media blank this news—they in any case don’t find this congregation of protesting farmers a cause for Covid-19’s super-spreader like they did with Kumbh Mela— we all hope the victim gets justice.

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