Guwahati: In a move bound to raise eyebrows, a school in Meghalaya has reportedly denied admission to a girl who was gang-raped.
Harassed by people in her hometown Williamnagar following the incident, the victim relocated to Tura in the state’s Western Garo Hills to avoid humiliation and pursue studies but only to be denied admission by at least one school there.
The victim, a 16-year-old student of class IX, has now been kept at an unspecified location by the authorities to protect her from public glare. Her parents have been allegedly threatened by some people to withdraw the case.
Seventeen people, including eight juveniles, have been arrested in connection with the case. Two of the accused are relatives of a minister and a surrendered militant leader.
The incident of gang-rape took place in December last when the girl was returning home along with a friend from a festival in Williamnagar.
“We are not aware of the denial of admission by the school to the girl. However, exemplary action will be taken against the school if it is found guilty,” Western Garo Hills deputy commissioner Prabin Bakshi told a daily.
Social organisations in the state have expressed concern over the threat to the girl’s life.
But Bakshi claimed she was in ‘safe hands’. “She is safe. She is in a hostel and is being looked after by Meghalaya State Women Commission. They are now in the process of finding a school for her,” he said.
Asked about the alleged threats to the parents, Bakshi said, “We have come to know about the alleged threats. However, we are yet to receive any formal complaint.”
“Trial in the case is going on a very fast pace. All efforts are being made to ensure that it goes on in a free and fair manner,” he added.
A women’s group has slammed the authorities for allegedly protecting a minister. “Such crimes will continue. The people involved are very influential. The policemen are public servants. But in this case, they are protecting a minister. So, where is justice then,” asked Agnes Kharshing, the president of Civil Society Women Organisation.