Nashik: In what is totally incomprehensible and is a blot to humanity, a 93-year-old woman was beaten, robbed and sexually abused by unknown miscreants in the night of August 19. The victim, who lives alone in a roadside shed in Puntamba, a village in Ahmednagar district, has filed a complaint with the Rahata police.
The victim was found in a semi-conscious state by villagers. The scene of the crime and her doorless shed told the story of her torture. They informed the police, who took her to Pravara Medical College Hospital.
“The woman lives by herself on what people give her. She was robbed of Rs2,000, which she had collected and a nose ring,” the police stated.
The offenders have been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1960. “On the basis of the medical report, a case of rape has been registered, but as the victim in not in a sound condition at present, the information and statements that she has given vary from time to time. We tried to get some information about the culprits from her but we do not have any positive clues as yet. We have been gathering information from the people staying in the area and are investigating the case. As no relatives have shown any concern, the victim has been sent to Snehalaya to be looked after,” said Ahmednagar superintendent of police RD Shinde.
A medical test of the woman confirmed that she had been abused. She was treated in the hospital, but as her relatives refused to take her, on August 23 she was sent to Snehalaya – the NGO, which runs a project, Snehadhar.
Snehadhar takes care of women who are tortured, abused, harassed or destitute. As the victim is still frightened and speaks irrelevantly at times, she is now being taken care of by a medical institution run by Dr Rajendra Dhamane in Ahmednagar.
Prof Girish Kulkarni of Snehalaya said, “The woman is known to people in the village as she stays by the road and lives on what people offer her to eat. Her husband is dead and she has no children. She has some relatives and a home in Puntambe, but they have disowned her. She is old and had some money, which she collected by begging.”
Kulkarni added, “She was sent to Snehalaya by the police, but we realised that she needed psychological help and so she is now in the care of Mauli Seva Pratishthan for counselling,” said Prof Girish Kulkarni of Snehalaya.
Dr Rajendra and Dr Suchita Dhamane of YS Sane Indradhanu, a project run by Mauli Seva Pratishthan at Shingave, 20 km from Ahmednagar, are counselling the victim.
They said, “The woman is frightened. She did not trust anybody when she came, but after some counselling, at least now she has gained some confidence. She tells what happened to her and it is the same as was told to the police. The only irrelevance she indicates is that she considers her deceased husband to be alive. Apart from this there is no irrelevance. We are trying to help her and it may take time.”
DNA/ Vaishali Balajiwale