As news outlets focus on the much-hyped Delhi elections, a ‘rarest of the rare’ brutal gang-rape and murder in Haryana has largely gone off the radar of the media.
A doctor, Dr S K Dhatterwal, in Haryana’s Rohtak district on Thursday supervised an autopsy of the heavily decomposed body of a 28-year old mentally-challenged woman, who was found three days after she went missing.
Going by the doctor’s report, it is, by far, one of the cruelest instances of abuse that anyone might have heard of.
The woman’s anus had two stones, there was a 16cm long and 4cm wide stick-like object in her vagina along with several condoms. She had a fractured skull; her face was eaten by animals; her lungs and heart were found missing.
In his 29-year-old career that has seen him supervise around 30,000 autopsies, Dr. Dhatterwal has apparently never seen such brutality. The autopsy took more than five hours.
Last Sunday, unidentified men allegedly gang-raped and killed her at Bahu Akbarpur, which is around 10 km away from the victim’s house in Haryana’s Rohtak district, authorities said.
The police have, so far, been unable to identify the culprits. They are analyzing the footage from several CCTVs across the district in the hope of tracing the criminals. They have also announced a cash reward of Rs. 1 lakh to anyone who helps them nab the criminals.
The most surprising part is the media’s and politicians’ blind eye towards the case. Except the Times of India, none of the agencies seem to have carried it. Even the likes of Arnab Goswami have failed to bring this to light.
Unlike the Nirbhaya case, there are no breaking news bulletins or nation-shaming headlines. There were no candle-light vigils, and no online outrage.
Haryana police on Saturday claimed that they are ‘close to cracking the Rohtak rape case as now they have collected enough clues after rounding up a few history-sheeters.’
Rohtak superintendent of police Shashank Anand, who is supervising the probe, toldTOI the probe team had got leads from sources and people of the area. “On the basis of the inputs, we are trying to identify the real culprits.”
The police have also constituted seven sub-teams to help the special investigation team (SIT) with the probe.
Even with the police assurance of ‘close to cracking the case,’ the situation remains concerning because a case of gang-rape and murder from last year in the very same district still remains unsolved.
Talking to TOI, family members of the victim said that the woman might have been kidnapped soon after she left her house at a colony in Rohtak around noon on February 1.
She could have been saved if the police had acted soon after we lodged the missing complaint at the nearby police post,” said the elder sister of the victim.
It seems that as soon as the case started getting media attention, Rohtak MP and son of former Chief Minister Deepender Hooda rushed to visit the victim’s family on Saturday, and accused the police of not taking the case seriously.
A state-wide protest happened on Sunday demanding safety for women by a woman activist from Rohtak, Savita Berwal, who said that women activists and social groups will take part.
Meanwhile, reports are awaited of the victim’s viscera samples that have been sent to the forensic science laboratory in Madhuban for examination.