"I didn’t want him to force himself on me."
Viewers of India’s Rape Scandal have been left horrified after officials attempted to cover up a gang-rape case.
Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary was aired on July 27, 2021, and it saw numerous cases investigated by Ramita Navai.
One case involved 19-year-old Manisha Valmiki who was allegedly gang-raped by four men who strangled her when she resisted.
Her mother found her in a field, semi-conscious and naked from the waist down, near the village of Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.
But when her family took her to the police station, she was left lying on a concrete slab outside while officers questioned her.
Manisha, who was suffering from paralysing spinal injuries, later died in hospital on September 29, 2020, two weeks after the alleged attack.
India’s Rape Scandal explored how authorities failed Manisha after police initially refused to register the crime and hospital staff were too scared to carry out a rape examination.
Manisha’s tragic story went viral after footage showed her after the attack.
In the footage, Manisha is seen with red marks around her neck, as he tries to speak after having her tongue slashed during the alleged attack.
One officer asks: “Why did they strangle you?”
Manisha replies: “I didn’t want him to force himself on me. I resisted him while he was forcing himself on me.”
Police did not file a rape case and even failed to call an ambulance for the victim.
At the hospital, Manisha repeated her allegation and named her attackers.
But it was only after the footage created international outrage that a case was registered and the four suspects were arrested.
A medical examination took place eight days after the attack. Unsurprisingly, hardly any evidence could be found.
Doctors said they were too scared to carry out a rape examination until police had recorded the assault.
Protestors marched on the hospital and Manisha was moved to another hospital.
However, after a four-hour drive with no medical supplies, police admitted Manisha to an inferior hospital where she later died.
Her family suffered even more when police cremated Manisha’s body without allowing them to see her.
In India’s Rape Scandal, Manisha’s mother is heard saying:
“She’s my daughter. I gave birth to her. How can you be so inhumane?”
Four men are now awaiting trial, with Ramita Navai stating:
“The trial of the four men Manisha accused has been delayed by Covid.
“Their lawyer claims Manisha’s video statements about the rape were fabricated.
“There have been allegations that the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s office has been trying to cover up this gang-rape and has been trying to protect the accused.”
The accused’s lawyer AP Singh claims Manisha’s death was an “honour killing” and a “conspiracy to defame the government”.
He said: “Women lie and file cases. There was no rape. This was a case of honour killing. In the video she was directed. She was acting.
“This was a conspiracy to defame the government. Yogi Adityanath would never protect a perpetrator. He would never do that.”
Viewers were left shocked by the documentary. One said:
“Feel sickened, shocked and angered by what I’ve just watched.”
Another stated: “This is a really hard watch, absolutely horrific. Poor Manisha.”
A third said: “OMG… so angry watching this. Those poor women and the women in lower caste in India.”