There's some hope for Vaishali (name changed).
For almost three years, this mother from Baramati has been fighting the system with one objective: justice for her 23-year-old daughter.
Vaishali's daughter was abducted and raped by local goons in November 2011. For eight months, the Pune (rural) police didn't file a case. Even many months after their doing so, no one has been arrested.
The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has now asked the state government to award the victim a compensation of Rs 1 lakh and act against the erring police officials.
Vaishali's ordeal started in October 2011, when her daughter, grandchild and son-in-law failed to turn up at her residence for Diwali celebrations. The mother's desperate calls to her daughter's mobile phone didn't get any response. A few days later, her son-in-law filed a missing person's complaint.
On November 4, an anonymous caller informed Vaishali her daughter was with him and she can be taken back, the mother said in her complaint.
Vaishali immediately approached the police. But the Vadgaon police was not interested. All she got was a word of advice from constable Pansare: "Talk nicely to the accused when he calls again and try to get your daughter released."
A day later, the abductors contacted Vaishali again. This time, they promised to drop her daughter at the Indapur bus stand. Vaishali mobilised a few relatives and reached the spot. The abductors arrived – five of them. As the girl was being released, Vaishali's relatives grabbed three of them.
Constable Pansare was on duty again when they took the goons to the police station. The girl told the police she was sexually assaulted and illegally detained by the men. They also took her gold ornaments away, she said.
This time, Pansare took some signatures from Vaishali and promised action. Though no action came forth, a few days later, Pansare made an offer – the accused are ready to pay Rs 1,30,000 for the gold ornaments. Later, even this money was denied.
And, he gave them another piece of advice: do not pursue the case as the accused are "very powerful and notorious". When he found that Vaishali and her relatives may not relent, the advice turned into a threat: if you pursue the matter, we will falsely implicate you.
MSHRC chairman Justice S R Bannurmath, in his order on May 16, 2014, hinted at the possibility of a collusion between the accused and the policemen. He expressed displeasure over the delay in registering an FIR by the police.
The MSHRC also said the police have been evading its notices on some pretext or the other and has been seeking adjournments.
"...there is not only clear dereliction of duty on the part of the concerned police, possibly due to collusion with the accused involved. This is a serious violation of human rights of the victim of a crime," reads the order.