‘They tore up my clothes, gagged me and raped me. I fainted. I was bleeding as my mother picked me up’
AT ABOUT 3PM one day two years ago, I was at our granary with my parents. My mother and I were winnowing the rice from its husk. My father was making ropes. Suddenly, a group of about 10 uniformed men were upon us, guns on their shoulders, sticks in their hands. Two caught me by my arm. I recognised none. My father tried to rush to me, but they held him back and beat him so badly that they drew blood from all over him.
My father screamed, “What are you doing to my daughter?” My mother, too, began to wail. They beat her black and blue with sticks and took her away somewhere. Then they raped me. Four people raped me. I don’t know them. They had masked their faces. They took my father to our house, which was about 100 feet away. Thankfully, my father didn’t witness my rape.
I was wearing a wraparound as my lower garment, a towel on my head, and a red blouse. They tore up my clothes, gagged my mouth with a black cloth, and tied another cloth around it. I couldn’t see my mother. They raped me for a long time, all of them. I was crying. Then the men left and my mother came in and picked me up. I had fainted. I was bleeding heavily. My mother took me home and gave me clothes to wear because my clothes were all torn.
We heard that they’d taken my father to the house of his older brother. There they tied up both men. Later, other villagers went and set them free. The villagers told my father he should have screamed when the men attacked.
How do I know they were Salwa Judum and not Naxals? I know they were from the Salwa Judum because eight days earlier they had come to our village and asked us to join the Judum. Well, four days later they came back. This time, they were fully unmasked. In fact, they kept coming back to the village. Every time they did, I would run and hide.
In fact, I had seen other Salwa Judum members dressed exactly like them at Dornapal. They were clearly not Naxals. Naxals come to our village sometimes. But they have never raped anyone.
The morning after I was raped, my father, my mother and I went to a hospital 10km away. No one came with us. My lower abdomen was in terrible pain from the forced penetrative sex.
I saw a private doctor who runs a two-room clinic. He is a Bengali. I told him I had been raped. He asked me, “Why did you keep quiet during the rape?” I told him that I couldn’t speak because I was gagged.
The doctor gave me some pills and syrup. We paid him Rs 1,000. He didn’t tell me that I should go to the police. I’ve no idea if he is bound by law to report rape to the police. I don’t remember his name but I remember him. He said I should drink lots of warm water and stop eating tomatoes and sour foodstuff. It’s two years since I was raped but I still get terrible stomach aches during menstruation.
The doctor also gave us ointments to heal my father’s wounds from all the beating. But my father’s wounds were really bad. His skin had come off his back and arms. Blood had clotted all over. My father died of his wounds in less than two weeks.
I never went to the police. I was scared they would catch me again. I get very angry every time I think of my rapists and the killers of my father. I think of them every day. I want them in jail. I want them punished.
I don’t know what the NHRC is. I have never met anyone from the NHRC.