"I knew that police will not take any cognizance of my complaint."
A young Indian woman, aged 18, from Mumbai, filed a police complaint against her father-in-law after he raped her twice.
Police officers arrested the accused, along with his wife and their son (the victim’s husband) on Friday, March 29, 2019.
The girl turned 18 in January 2019 and is a victim of child marriage who was 16 when she was married off to an older man.
The victim’s mother raised her along with her two sisters but her grandmother also used to take care of her. When she passed away, the girl’s mother could not afford to look after her on her own.
The girl’s mother said: “I do household work for livelihood. When her grandmother passed away there was nobody to take care of her so I had no option but to marry her off.
“She was young and staying alone. Many people told me that it wasn’t safe to keep a grown-up girl alone at home. I was helpless.”
The victim got married in 2017 to a man who was an alcoholic and could not take care of her. She was also not allowed to work.
Not only was she raped by her father-in-law, but her mother-in-law used to burn her arms with cigarettes.
She explained her ordeal:
“On 24th February night and 27th February early morning my father-in-law raped me.
“I screamed but my voice could not reach anyone since he had covered my mouth. They have beaten me up and used me as a slave.”
The victim went to Wadala TT police station after she was raped the first time but police refused to lodge a case. The incident only came to light after the victim was raped again.
The victim said: “I am very poor. I knew that police will not take any cognizance of my complaint.
“So, after I was raped a second time, I went straight to the Sion hospital with my husband.
“I requested them to do my medical test but they asked me to first lodge a police complaint.
No action was taken until a neighbour intervened. The neighbour explained:
“I knew somebody who was doing social work and I cried when I saw the girl’s plight. That’s when I decided to help her.”
The social worker went to the State’s Women’s Commission where the case was reviewed. They ordered an FIR to be lodged immediately.
Aisarunissa Shaikh, of the Women’s Commission, said:
“This girl needs rehabilitation and she deserves compensation under Manodhairya scheme.
“We hope that she will get a maximum of Rs. 10 Lakh as this is rarest of rare case.”
The victim’s in-laws were booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code including rape and voluntarily causing hurt.
Both of the victim’s in-laws had already been in trouble with the law. The father-in-law had been running an illegal gambling club in the area while the mother-in-law was on bail after she was booked for a murder case.