The city’s heartlessness seems to be scaling new heights.
The bloodcurdling screams of a woman being gang-raped by a group of robbers in her Bhiwandi house failed to elicit any help or sympathy from the 20-odd families in the locality. Not only did no man or woman try to intervene, no one even bothered to lift up a phone and call the police.
In shock: The woman’s husband and father-in-law at the Nizampura police station Pic/Emmanual Karbhari
According to the Nizampura police, a group of five robbers barged into the Bhiwandi house of a newlywed couple from Uttar Pradesh in the wee hours of Sunday. After snatching whatever valuables the couple had, they locked the woman’s father-in-law in his room, overpowered her husband and took him out of the house as at least three of them took turns raping her.
The victim and her 21-year-old husband (in pic) had married in May and had come to the city to witness the Ganpati celebrations. PIc/Emmanual Karbhari
On Sunday morning, a team of the Nizampura police was dispatched to the spot and when they rounded up some of the neighbours for questioning, they were given bizarre reasons for not intervening.
“The woman’s screams were loud enough to wake up the entire locality, and yet some of the neighbours claimed not to have heard her. Some said they were too scared to help and others maintained they were unaware of the incident till we went to the locality. Some said their doors had been locked from outside, but they did not come out even when the victim’s husband unlocked the doors later,” said a member of the police team.
“It is very shameful that no one helped the couple. They were not approached by a single person in the area till the landlord arrived around 8 am and brought them to the police station,” said Senior Police Inspector S D Langhe from the Nizampura police
“If the neighbours didn’t want to help the victim’s family, they could have at least called up the police,” said Assistant Police Inspector Jilani Sayyad, who is investigating the case.
Speaking to mid-day, the victim’s 21-year-old husband said. “The robbers kept knocking on the door and some of them even tried to enter the house through the rooftop. After entering the house, they snatched the mangalsutra from my wife’s neck and began assaulting her and me. Two of them took me out of the house as the other three raped my wife.”
The victim’s father-in-law said, “I saw the robbers through the keyhole. They were wearing masks. I didn’t have access to a phone, or I would have called the police immediately. The incident left us aghast. We did not know how to deal with the situation and kept waiting for help till morning.”
“My son and his wife got married in May and wanted to see the Ganpati celebration in Mumbai, because of which I had called them here. My son was also looking for a job in the city,” he added.
According to the police, it took several hours for the victim to come to terms with the fact that she had been raped. “There are multiple stab injuries on her face and thigh and teeth marks on her private parts. We took her to the
hospital for medical treatment and while she has been discharged, she has suffered immense mental trauma,” said an officer.
Late last evening, the police arrested local goons Santosh Shedge (18) and Naveen Bagade (32) from Bhiwandi. They have been booked for gang-rape and robbery and the hunt for the other accused is on.
Not the first
In the 2012 Pallavi Purkayastha murder case, too, police had found evidence of her desperately seeking help from her neighbours after being attacked by the security guard, but none of them had responded.