In a series of events that wouldn’t look out of place in a horror film, or a really gruesome soap opera, a three-year-old girl witnesses not only her mother brutally raped in a bus but also the death of his 14-day-old baby brother.
According to the Indian Express, the incident took place at a bus station in Shishgarh, which is 50 kilometers from Bareilly.
“Her child had been sick for some time and she went to visit her sister to meet a tantric,” said Bareilly police officer Yamuna Prasad.
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On board the bus, two men—the bus’ driver and conductor—forced themselves on the 28-year-old woman and forced alcohol down her throat. They did this to allegedly make her recollection of the incident hazy and disjointed, rendering her police statement confusing.
An Independent report said: “There are conflicting reports about exactly what happened to the woman’s 14-day-old son, with the Times of India saying he was ‘flung to death by the two assailants,’ while The Indian Express said that the boy ‘reportedly fell from her lap and died’.”
The bus in which the incident took place ; Photo credit: Tashi Tobgyal
Her two-year-old daughter looked on in horror as the two men raped her mother, and later told the police what happened.
The two men, Ishwari Prasad and Shiv Kumar, from Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district, have been arrested and charged with gang rape and culpable homicide not accounting to murder.
“News of rapes continue unabated in the national newspapers,” said Nandita Bhatla, Senior Technical Specialist in gender, violence and rights at the International Centre for Research on Women in the Independent report.
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“True, there were landmark changes in sexual harassment laws and in specific police procedures to prioritize crimes against women resulted after the incident, but it is obvious that there is a deep chasm between changes at policy and their impact on society at large.”
She continued: “If men know they will escape, and women know no one will intervene—if the apathy and impunity remain, little will change”
“Dialogue needs to happen in every school and every institution to question rape – and who is to blame for it.”
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