She was allegedly abducted when she had stepped out to defecate in the fields

Ballari minors rape Three weeks and no arrests victim alleges Congress influence
news Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 20:35

A 17-year-old Lambani girl in Ballari district has alleged that the man who allegedly raped her two months ago has not been arrested at the behest of his brother who is a Congress member.

Vidya (name changed) says she is finding it hard to live in her house in Mariammanahalli village, Hospet taluk, as local police have not arrested Rohith, the accused, allegedly under pressure from his brother Ekambaresh who is a Congress member.

“It has been over 20 days since I filed the complaint and I still see him walking around free. How am I to feel secure having been threatened twice before filing a complaint?” said Vidya.

Recalling the day of the assault, Vidya said: “I had stepped out of my house in the evening to go to the fields to defecate, since we don’t have a toilet of our own. I walked to the fields as it is about 10 minutes away. At around 7:45 pm, Rohith and his friend abducted me, took me to the junior college and raped me.”

Vidya, who lives with her mother in the village, says that she has never interacted with Rohith or his friend previously. However, Rohith is a familiar face in the village as he is the brother of person associated with the Congress party, she says.

“Twice, Rohith threatened and warned me against filing a complaint. He vandalised my house and even threatened to kill me if I filed a complaint,” the victim said.

Vidya says that this is a larger pattern of police behavior towards her. “No police official at the Mariyammanahalli police station was ready to take my complaint. I think it was because Rohith is a Congress member’s brother and they influenced the police. It was on April 17 when I filed the complaint with the help of a local reporter,” said Vidya.

Ballari Superintendent of police Chethan told The News Minute that the police are on the lookout for accused who are ​absconding. 

Asked about the delay in registering a case, he said, “A department enquiry and the action would be taken against the guilty policemen.”

Rohith’s brother Ekambaresh who is a Congress party worker, said that his brother has been missing from the village for the past 20 days.

“The complaint came as a shock to us. Initially when the girl started accusing my brother Rohith, he clearly denied neither having done anything nor even knowing her. He left home about 20 days ago after a fight over a personal issue. He has no idea about a case being booked on him,” he said.

Asked whether he had reported his brother missing, Ekambaresh said, “We are from a village and men keep leaving and coming back every now and then.”

A pre-university student, Vidya is also unhappy that these events affected her ability to study for her exams. “With snide remarks from villagers, police inaction and threats from rapists, I couldn’t write my exam in peace,” she says.

However, Bellary Deputy Director of Women and Child Development BS Kaladgi said that the department was not informed of the case. “We would collect details of the case and will see to it that action is taken,” he said.

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