Angry members of the northeastern community protested in the capital on Saturday after it emerged that a minor girl from Manipur was raped by her landlord's son in south Delhi's Munirka area late on Friday.
The rape brought back memories of the gruesome December 16, 2012 gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student in a moving bus, which she had boarded from the same neighbourhood. The community, already angry over the death of Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Taniam, who was beaten up by locals after an altercation over his looks and clothes, gathered outside Vasant Vihar police station demanding justice.
Earlier, the police arrested 18-year-old accused, Ashish Tokas (Vicky) for raping the 14-year-old, who stays with her aunt and uncle, helping them run their ornament shop in Rama Market. The girl was returning home after buying soap at around 10:30pm when the accused held her head in his arm and dragged her inside his house. The police claimed that no family member was present on the first floor of the house. The accused slapped and thrashed the girl before raping her. He let her go at around 12:30am.
The girl, in a delirious state was unable to get a sense of what had happened to her and couldn't even locate her home as she struggled for direction. A local juice seller spotted her and helped her with the assistance of a few other members of the northeastern community. By the time the girl reached home, it was 3am.
Later, she narrated the ordeal to her family, who helped her identify the place of the incident. The police was informed and a case under sections 376 (rape), 323 (causing hurt), 342 (illegal confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and several sections of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012 was registered. CCTV footage gathered from the spot established that the accused indeed dragged the girl. Preliminary investigation reveal that he was under the influence of alcohol.
Even though the girl had not received major injuries, she was unable to come out of shock. Experts who counseled her said that she faced difficulty in talking hours after the incident. The girl's family alleged that the police tried to harass them, threatening to slap a case of child labour against them for employing a minor. "The police tried to fix all the responsibility at the family members. Later, they sensed that the matter was too sensitive to be hushed and registered a case," Timothy, a Manipuri student activist told dna.
By Saturday afternoon, scores of northeastern students and students from Jawaharlal Nehru University protested at Vasant Vihar police station for extended hours demanding justice and a copy of the FIR. They blocked Nelson Mandela marg, which leads to upscale shopping malls, for the entire afternoon, causing huge traffic snarls on the outer ring road. The angry protesters even had a scuffle with the policemen guarding the police station.
The latest crime against has left the community with uneasy and unanswered questions about their security and safety in New Delhi. A recent survey conducted by the Center for North East Studies and Policy Research, and which was sponsored by the National Commission for Women, found that nearly 81 per cent of northeastern women face discrimination in the capital.