Victim turns hostile
Bandipora: In a case reflecting badly on the state of justice delivery in the state, a rape case in Bandipora reached a court, thirty years after the First Information Report (FIR) was registered. However, in a twist, the victim turned hostile during her testimony in the case last week.
The victim termed the case filed by her father, where her brother-in-law in the accused, as baseless.
The Principal District and Session Judge Bandipora, who heard the case Thursday last week, declared the victim as “turned hostile” and sought further evidence in the matter by July 27 when the case would be heard again.
The FIR had been filed by the woman’s father in 1998 wherein he accused his son-in-law of usurping his property and raping his other daughter. The woman in question, was then in her teens and is now a grandmother.
Her father, the main complainant, has died several years ago. In the he FIR registered at Police Station Bandipora under section 376 (Punishment for Rape) RPC dated 30 January 1988, the woman’s father alleged rape of her daughter and torture at the hands of his son-in-law, a resident of Sumlar village. He also accused his son-in-law of usurping his property.
The report mentions, the accused son-in-law offered the victim family to live with them after usurping their property and selling it by himself.
Left with nothing, the father of the victim, along with his wife and a divorced daughter, went to live with their son-in-law. During his stay, the accused allegedly forced the victim’s father to marry off her daughter. Within two months, according to the report, the victim married off his daughter. Four months after marriage was consummated, the woman was reportedly diagnosed pregnant with an eight-month-old fetus. Surprised by the doctor’s revelation the husband of the victim got infuriated and left her with her father, the report said.
As per the FIR, the victim narrated her ordeal in a meeting of village head and elders on the request of her father, where she disclosed that her brother-in-law sexually assaulted her by threatening her with an axe – five to six times.
After the victim accusing him publically, the accused son-in-law, beat up her father and threw them out of the house.
The case gathered dust for decades together despite repeated applications to the court to put it up.
In 2008 the family filed a petition before the session judge but the case according to sources remained into abeyance and it was only a few days ago the file was opened and the accused arrested by efforts of Senior Superintendent of police Bandipora.
“Due to the efforts of the SP Bandipora, the accused was arrested after 30 long years and the Hon’ble court has also recorded the statement of the victim.” public prosecutor Shafeeq Ahmad said.
However, the ‘victim’, who is married and has children, stated in the court that the incident never happened and the accused “is like my own brother.”
She described the allegations in the FIR as “baseless”.
The statement said she then a teenager, who had been married for three years before getting divorced. She then lived with her father and again got married after a few months. The victim said a child was born to her more than a year after the marriage, and that she never went to police with the complaint of rape.