Despite court orders, 11-year-old rape victim awaits government compensation

IQBAL KIRMANI

SRINAGAR: An 11-year-old rape victim suffering from ‘bi-polar mood disorder’ is still waiting for the compensation, granted to her by the high court on May 25 for medical care, from the government.
Despite the court orders, the district administration Kulgam seems unmoved over the plight of the girl, who was allegedly raped and tortured by three men in Damhal HanjiPora of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district in March this year. The class VII student had to undergo an abortion after the atrocity.
In its order, the court asked the deputy commissioner Kulgam to release an amount of Rs 50,000 as interim compensation in favor of the minor.
Police said that three men raped her after she was abducted with the help of a non-local woman married in the victim’s home-village on March 5 when she had gone to buy some vegetables from a nearby village.
“She had asked for water but they had given her alcohol and then raped her,” said Tariq Ahmad, brother of the victim.
The police have arrested all the accused and their DNA samples, according to Station House Officer, Hyder Ahmad, have been sent to the forensic lab.
The court had asked the district administration to release the money to the financially weak family so that they could stay in Srinagar and bear the cost of medical care to the victim, who, at the time of court orders was admitted in the Lal Ded hospital.
Soon after the victim was discharged from the hospital, the family had no option but to return to Kulgam as they ran out of money.
“I cannot leave for work as I have to take care of my sister as she had many times tried to kill herself,” said Tariq.
Tariq said that after the orders for compensation were given by the court, he visited the DC’s office, who told him that the file has been sent to the Law Minister for approval.
“I visited the secretariat several times but they too said that the money will be released soon,” Tariq said.
Deputy Commissioner Kulgam, R.K Bhat said that they are “waiting for the government’s response on the release of interim compensation” and he should not be held responsible for the delay.
When told that the court orders were directed towards DC Kulgam to release the interim compensation for the victim, he said, “Go ask the government,” before hanging the line.
Ironically after the incident of March 5, Tariq’s younger brother, along with the young victim, had to be admitted in psychiatric hospital as “he could not bear the deplorable condition of her sister who had torture marks all over her body.”
“He was un-controllable and kept shouting of taking revenge, so we had to admit him too,” Tariq said.
He said that both his siblings were discharged from the psychiatric hospital, but were put on medication and have to regularly visit the doctors.
The tragedy has also taken a toll on the financial strength of the family.
“Me and my father are labourers and we earn hand to mouth. We have run out of money and have left with no option either to stop medication or borrow money from people,” Tariq said.

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