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Sunitha Rao R

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Suma (name changed), 26, was gang-raped on November 23 by six unidentified men in an abandoned structure
  • “Three men attacked me and hurled me at the wall like a ball. They hit my legs with stones even as they shot videos with their phones,” says Suma.

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BENGALURU: She can’t move an inch because of injuries on her limbs and hips. Her right knee is swollen while the right hand has a fracture and has been operated upon.

Suma (name changed), 26, says the excruciating pain is bad but worse is the mental trauma of being raped by six men three weeks ago and fending for herself for over 36 hours before being rescued.

“Three men attacked me and hurled me at the wall like a ball. They hit my legs with stones even as they shot videos with their phones. I was crying in pain,” says Suma, currently being treated at Bowring Hospital.

Suma, who moved to Bengaluru 14 years ago after she lost her family in an earthquake and works as a dishwasher at a hotel for just ₹50 a day, was gang-raped on November 23 by six unidentified men in an abandoned structure where she lived on the outskirts of Anekal.

“Six men raped me repeatedly through the night. When they left me, I could not walk. With hardly any clothes on my body, I crawled to the main road the next morning and sat near the bus stop the whole day. No one approached me and I was too scared to speak to anyone,” Suma told TOI .

As dusk set in on November 24, Suma crawled to a tea shop nearby where she slept. The next morning Suma returned to the bus stop.

Meanwhile, she picked up some clothes from a garbage pile and was wearing a ripped shirt when she was spotted by Parijatha G T, an activist from Stree Jagriti Samithi, who was on her way to work. “I sensed something amiss and went to her. I offered her food and asked what had happened. She explained her plight. No villager had helped her. She had crawled for almost a 250 metres from the abandoned structure to the bus stop,” said Parijatha.

She called for an ambulance and rushed Suma to the One Stop crisis centre set up by the government at Bowring Hospital for the rescue, medical and legal care of rape survivors.

Suma underwent a surgery to fix her right hand fracture two days ago and is recovering. “She is courageous and must get government assistance from the Nirbhaya Fund,” said Parijatha.

“We’re trying to raise funds to help her. She may need at least six months to recover and needs palliative care. We want to make sure she has a job and a place to stay,” says Rini Ralte, president, North-East Solidarity, an NGO.

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