Teenage rape victim in search of justice in Gujarat

December 4th, 2008 - 8:37 am ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Dec 4 (IANS) The tears have dried but feelings of revenge and shame are reflected in the eyes of a 13-year-old Gujarati girl who was kidnapped, sold to a stranger and raped for nearly five months before she managed to escape. Innocence lost, she is now in search of justice. The girl, resident of a small village in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district, was allegedly kidnapped by 35-year-old Devaben and her 40-year-old husband, Chandu Vadi.

Police said the couple had promised to take her to her uncle’s house but instead took her to their own village and locked her in a house, where Chandu and four of his friends raped her.

“The girl was allegedly tricked into going with the couple, who kidnapped her on June 22,” said Inspector B.K. Patel of the Ambaji police station in Banaskantha town.

Devaben and Chandu soon sold the girl to 22-year-old Babulal Viraji of Bavala village in Ahmedabad district. Babulal used to keep her confined to a room and rape her regularly.

Once when Babulal had gone out without taking his mobile phone, she managed to call her brother and tell him where she was. On Nov 3, her family members rescued her and took her back home.

“After bringing her back home, we went to many police stations, but no one was prepared to take our complaint because of jurisdiction problem. Finally, our complaint was registered at the Ambaji police station,” said the victim’s brother.

According to Patel, a first information report (FIR) was registered Nov 26 and a case was filed under Sections 366, 363, 68, 376(B) and 434 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as under the Prevention of Atrocities Act.

On Sunday, police arrested Babulal, Devaben and Naran Merabhai Koli Patel. Chandu and Kantibhai Valabhai Vadi were arrested Tuesday.

Four to six others involved in the crime are still at large and are likely to be arrested soon, Inspector Patel said.

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