In June 2015, a judgement by Madras High court Justice P Devadass in which he suggested a rape victim (then a minor) should settle with the rapist had created much furore. But six months later, it seems the girl who had vehemently opposed the idea of marrying the rapist earlier, has finally got hitched.
Breaking the story that the rapist had been acquitted by a Mahila court in Cuddalore, K Ezhilarasan of TNIE wrote, ‘On December 30, the Mahila Court here acquitted Mohan from the case, after it was informed that the two have gotten married.’
The accused, A Mohan had raped a minor girl (then 15 years) in 2008, and had been sentenced to 7 years in prison by the Cuddalore Mahila Court in 2012. The convict had then moved the Madras High Court, which lead to the bizarre order by Justice P Devadass. In October, another judge of the Madras High Court referred the case back to the trial court as doubts had been raised about her age at the time of the crime. The girl gave birth to a girl who is now studying in Class 2.
Talking to The News Minute, the rape victim’s brother confirmed that his sister had married Mohan. “I was against it. I don’t know how they convinced her or what the ‘deal’ was. I have cut ties,” he told TNM over the phone.
In an earlier interview with The News Minute, the victim had said, “He put drugs in my cool drink and raped me. When I became pregnant, he threatened me, told me to have an abortion. Why should I marry that man?”
“His friend has told me clearly that they are happy with what the judge said as this will allow him to come out of jail. He wants to marry his cousin. But he sent word that he would marry me first to satisfy the court, and then get on with his life.”
She had also said, “My family has suffered a lot. After the rape, he threatened me with pictures he took of me when I was unconscious. When I was pregnant, he and his friends told me to get an abortion. When I gave birth, one of his friends said they will smother my child with a pillow. That is why I left to work outside. I don’t want to see him, talk to him or marry him.”
An engagement ceremony between Mohan and his cousin had been stopped by irate villagers before the June judgment.
After the story broke out in June, the 22-year-old woman and her child had been brought to Chennai and were living at a shelter home. With the help of a few journalists and activists, a job and been secured for the woman and school admission arranged for the child.
“I am not sure how this happened. She went back to her village after the November deluge in Chennai. The child’s admission will need to be cancelled. She had repeatedly told everyone that Mohan only wanted to marry her to pave way for his acquittal and then marry someone else. We will need to keep a watch,” said the journalist who had helped the victim.