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Rohtak: Double gang raped, alive and fighting for justice


The waiting area at Ward 24 of PGIMS Medical hospital, Rohtak was swarming with journalists, cameramen and security guards. In a closely guarded room inside was D, a 20-year-old BSc Mathematics Honours student from one of Rohtak's premier colleges, who was brutally gang-raped by five men on 13 June as she was returning alone from college around 2 pm.

It was many hours later that a passerby found D - unconscious and bleeding through her torn clothes - at a secluded place some distance away from Supra Chowk, and alerted the police. By the time the parents were called it was 6 PM.

D had not just been raped. She'd been forcefully drugged, strangled, stripped, beaten and slapped hard on her face. "They just stopped short of killing her," recalls her brother.

"The first thing she signalled to me when she saw me was 'Wohi Paanch'," describes D's mother.

D pushed her thumb and enclosed fist behind her shoulder and then opened up her five fingers to indicate - "the same five".

And this is why the Rohtak double rape has a chill running down everybody's spine.

But D isn't the only one. Haryana is soon becoming India's rape capital.

According to government statistics, the number of rape cases reported nationwide rose 50% between 2001 and 2011, when police registered 23,582 cases.

Over the same period in Haryana, the figure rose nearly 85% to 733. Women's rights groups feel that the last few years have witnessed an even sharper spike. Their record of local newspaper clippings show 26 rapes of women and children that occurred between 1 to 15 of July alone.

Almost all victims are Dalit and almost all the accused are upper caste," says Savitri, joint secretary of Haryana, AIDWA.

"The poor and backward castes are vulnerable in every sense. They have no voice, no agency and are utterly powerless. This makes them easy targets for sexual crimes," feels Rajkumari Dahiya, Haryana Secretary of AIDWA

In this video, D's mother and brother talk to Catch and recall the horror of the rape, being denied justice and having no agency to move the well greased wheels of Haryana's bureaucracy.