Courage ensures justice
Riyan Ramanath V
First Published : 28 Feb 2010 05:16:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 28 Feb 2010 08:04:55 AM IST
BALANGIR: She finally plucked up the courage and narrated before the
court her plight.
She testified despite opposition from her in-laws. And her exemplary
courage helped the court punish the culprits, who raped and tortured
her in a brick kiln in Andhra Pradesh in 2003.
Prabhanjali Deep (name changed), a Dalit girl, who had gone to
Rangareddy district of Andhra Pradesh to work in a brick kiln, was
raped and held captive in Bharat Nagar in Hyderabad. Three other
tribal girls, who had gone with her, also underwent the same trauma.
After the girls were rescued by some organisations, they returned to
village and a case, which was filed in AP, was put in cold storage
because no victim was ready to appear before the court to narrate
Meanwhile, Prabhanjali got married.
Although the torture still haunted her, she couldn't do anything
because of opposition from her in-laws. However, she finally stepped
out and decided to testify before the court in Hyderabad. After she
agreed to narrate her ordeals, court fixed a new date for hearing and
she courageously narrated the ordeal before the court.
Prabhanjali heaved a sigh of relief when the court held three persons
guilty and sentenced them to 10 years rigorous imprisonment.
The court gave the verdict in January.
"Other girls decided to forget the incident but it haunted me even
after my marriage," narrated Prabhanjali who turned emotional. She
said she felt happy when the court pronounced the judgment in her
favour. Brick kiln owner Feroz Khan, his brother Ayub Khan and labour
agent Sanju Sagaria were involved in the heinous crime. The trio were
punished. Sources said the case was heard in-camera.
One of the members of the rescue team Umi Daniel said the matter had
come to light when the parents of one of the girls escaped from the
brick kiln and reported the matter to the local media.
Immediately some activists from Balangir rushed to Hyderabad and
rescued 40 persons, including the rape victims. However, he said it
was because of Prabhanjali's courage, she got justice. "We initiated
the rescue operation and then the government officials came to know
about the rape incident. Immediately a case was registered in the
police station", said Daniel. He said after the court issued summons,
no girl except Prabhanjali was ready to go to the court.
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