A 19-year-old student was allegedly abducted and molested by three men in the basement of a building off Kasturba Road on Friday.
The police was tipped off about the incident by the hospital authorities when she went there for treatment. However, the girl refused to file a complaint or divulge details about the incident.
The police had no option but to take up a suo motu case to identify the accused, a senior police officer said. “We are trying to convince the family to cooperate with us in the investigation so that the perpetrators can be identified,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Sandeep Patil said.
The police, who investigate such cases, are under tremendous pressure owing to sensitivity of issue. A police officer said that they have to be careful while questioning victims as they suffer from mental trauma. Also, such cases are not rare, say senior police officers. Though things are fast changing and more women are coming forward to file complaints of sexual assault, social stigma still plays a significant role, said an officer. He recalled an incident where some robbers barged into the house and looted valuables before sexually assaulting a woman on the outskirts of the city. Though the family filed a robbery case, they refused to file a rape case owing to social stigma, he said.
In another case, an 18-year-old girl, allegedly raped by a priest three months ago, refused to file a complaint despite repeated counselling by an NGO. The family had initially voluntarily approached the NGO for help, but later decided against filing a complaint. “We held many counselling sessions, but the girl’s mother was adamant about not filing a complaint. This is because the family was scared that the girl would be subjected to further harassment by the police, media and in court,” said Nandini, who heads Jagruthi Thanda, the NGO which is working with the family.
“We have decided to give the family some time and follow it up regularly,” Ms. Nandini said.