By Nehru Odeh
A 16-year-old girl has said she was raped hundreds of times by 400 people including two policemen between four to six months in Beed District of Maharashtra state in India. She made this claim in a statement to India’s Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on 11 November.
The girl, who was homeless, said she was begging for money at a bus stop when she was allegedly forced into having sex by three men. While the number of alleged rapists would be difficult to corroborate, the girl could identify at least 25 alleged perpetrators.
Still, the girl has a history of sexual abuse and violations. She told the police she was married off at age 13 to a 33-year-old man who sexually abused her. She also said she was sexually assaulted by her father, ultimately prompting her to leave both homes and sleep at the bus stop.
Women’s rights activist, Yogita Bhayana, said this was “the most tragic (rape) case in history.”
“This girl was tortured every single day,” she said, adding that police had failed to protect her. “We want strict action against all culprits
The girl had attempted to file a police complaint against a man she accused of beating her up, but officers did not register it.
According to the CNN, “seven men have been arrested so far in the latest horrifying case highlighting the country’s rampart sexual problem.” India’s capital, New Delhi, is reputed to be the rape capital of the world.
In a statement on Monday, the police said it had registered cases against eight males – including one minor – pertaining to rape and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences law, which has more severe sentences of longer jail time. They have also registered a case under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.
According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau, more than 28,000 cases of alleged rape against women were reported in 2020 – one roughly every 18 minutes. Experts believe the real number is much higher as many go unreported out of fear.