Arunachal: Minor rape survivor in mental trauma, court hands her to relative of alleged rapist

A rape case involving a minor in Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh has turned into a nightmare for the survivor as she is subjected to harassment on a daily basis.

On March 2, a minor girl was found by Roing Police a day after she was reported missing. On investigation, the police found that the minor girl was a rape survivor who was sexually exploited by her employer. The child was immediately placed at the child care institute (CCI) in Roing by the district Child Welfare Committee (CWC), and a suo moto case was registered against the alleged rapist, Aka Kalung, by the CWC.

The Arunachal Times on June 27 reported that in the most-recent development in the case, the Sessions Court in Tezu has directed the CCI to hand over the victim to one Pinky Debnath, who has been identified as her local guardian by the court. “The irony here is that this woman is the sister-in-law of Aka Kalung, the alleged rapist,” the Arunachal Times report written by Karyir Riba said.

The Sessions Court has also mentioned that “the said victim child who is having a biological father and a local guardian cannot be treated as a child who needs care and protection. Hence, the child be handed over by the CCI.”

As per Arunachal Times sources, the biological father of the survivor has been living with the alleged rapist in his house ever since the start of the case, when he arrived from Nepal.

Earlier, the survivor’s medical examination stated that “there are signs of suggestive penetrative intercourse but no signs of suggestive recent forceful vaginal or anal intercourse,” and her age determination test suggested that she is in between 12 and 15 years of age, proving that she is a minor.

The rape accused, Aka Kalung, was arrested by the police on April 20 and a chargesheet was filed against him. The accused has been out on bail since.

According to CCI chairperson Desai Linggi: “Instead of punishing the rapist, it seems like everyone is trying to fend for him and trying to protect him. The already traumatized child is being subjected to continuous harassment by the court and the family of the accused.”

She added that the continuous mental torture is taking a toll on the child as well as the CCI workers, and that the support that the alleged rapist is getting from the system is making it seem “as if Kalung had been raped by the child and he was the victim”.

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