"Thereafter, the five took turns to gang rape my wife."
A Dalit wife was raped by five men in front of her husband in Alwar, Rajasthan on April 26, 2019. The men also filmed the incident and uploaded the video on social media.
It was an incident which has attracted attention as the victim’s family alleged that the police only registered the case once the state elections were over.
The police’s inaction also led to protests in the area as to why the police were not investigating the crime.
The 18-year-old woman’s husband spoke about his wife’s three-hour ordeal and revealed that they were ambushed while they were travelling.
He said: “A bike came and stopped in front of us. The moment we stopped, they started beating us. They took us to the sand dunes and tortured us.
“They tore apart my wife’s clothes, tortured me and started making a video.
“I asked them not to make a video, requested them a lot to let us go but did not agree.
“Thereafter, the five took turns to gang rape my wife.”
The suspects later uploaded the video onto social media on May 4, 2019, and demanded Rs. 10,000 (£110) to delete the video.
The victim explained that the men were calling her husband on a daily basis and telling him to pay them, otherwise, they will upload the video.
In the video, the suspects were heard laughing while committing the sexual assault.
“We are still in a state of trauma. Their smiling faces while torturing us haunt us as we close our eyes.”
Initially, the couple did not speak about the incident to family members, however, when they began receiving phone calls, he told family members about it.
When they spoke to the police, they paid no attention according to the couple.
The victim’s husband said:
“When we complained to the police about the video, the SHO said if they upload the video on social media, we’ll add another section to the FIR.”
The woman’s family claimed that the police asked them to wait, citing an extensive “workload” due to the election.
The opposition party stated that the ruling Congress government kept quiet to protect its Gujjar vote bank.
It was also alleged that the incident was “concealed” from the media in order to save the vote bank in Alwar.
Subsequently, this led to protests across the city as to why the police were not taking action.
After news of the incident came out in the media, a case was underway and officers went to the victim’s house.
“After more than a week, the police finally reached out to us. Initially, they always said they are occupied with the elections.”
Three of the suspects were identified as Chotelal, Jeetu and Ashok. Two others remained unidentified.
According to the victim, Chotelal and Ashok belonged to the Gujjar community.
On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, three of the five men were arrested and a police search is underway to find the other two suspects. However, they arrested a sixth person who is suspected to be involved.
While some of the suspects were arrested and had an FIR lodged against them, one of the suspects was captured on video confessing to raping the woman.
Watch the suspect confessing to the rape of the Dalit Wife
Due to the police inaction, the state government removed Alwar police superintendent Rajeev Pachar and suspended SHO Sardar Singh.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot condemned the case and said:
“Strict action will be taken against the police if any negligence or irregularity will be found.
“The government is fully committed to women’s protection and has directed all police officers to give it special attention.”