But Poonam (name changed) did not die on Saturday night. Police say her light frame reduced the impact of the fall; the residents of Tughalpur village, where the well is situated, say her steely will kept her alive. When she was sure the men had driven away , she cried out for help. She kept it up all night in the hope that a passer-by would hear her.
Out in the open field, the December night turned frosty and the 15-year-old didn’t have warm clothing on. She had lost a lot of blood too. By morning, her cries rose faintly from the well but a youth heard them and informed Babbal Bhati, son of the landlord. Greater Noida police were informed at 8.40am and the villagers, meanwhile, pulled her out and rushed her to hospital. “She was covered in blood and crying when we pulled her out with a rope. We took her to a hospital nearby on a motorbike,“ said Babbal. Her attendants lost hope seeing her condition and doctors at the hospital couldn’t believe she had suffered two bullet wounds and survived the fall.
Poonam was in a critical condition but she remained conscious long enough to tell police what had happened, and all three accused–two of them are minors and cannot be named–were rounded up.
Police say Poonam had known the main accused, Krishan, for a few months. On November 22, the girl stepped out around 5pm to buy a SIM card for a mobile phone she had borrowed from her uncle.Her cousin saw her walking with a youth to a car, and when she did not return for several hours, the family registered a case of abduction.
Poonam told police that the youth was Krishan and he had forced her inside his car.The two minors were also inside and they drove towards Noida, threatening to harm her if she raised an alarm.She remembers being brought to a farmhouse near Salempur Gurjar village, which is about 30km from Tughalpur, but could not de scribe it in detail.
Krishan and the others raped her at the farmhouse and then went away after locking the main gate. In their absence, she shouted for help but nobody came as the farmhouse is in a deserted place.The trio raped her every time they brought her food.
On Saturday evening, they dragged her into Krishan’s car promising to take her home, but stopped near the well for a drink. Poonam tried to run away but Krishan saw her. He caught her, thrashed her and then shot her twice.Greater Noida police station in-charge Laxmi Chauhan said Poonam was shot at from close range with a .12-bore pistol. “But the bullets didn’t damage her vital organs.“
Doctors told TOI that Poonam had been operated upon and her condition is critical.