In a shocking incident during the Jat quota stir which has left the Haryana government in a tizzy, in the early hours of Monday morning, vehicles with women passengers were reportedly stopped on the national highway near Murthal in Sonipat district. The women were allegedly dragged out and raped in the nearby fields. Meanwhile, police officials dismissed the incident as rumour.
The victims stated that a mob of about 30 men set vehicles on fire, women were dragged out of their cars, stripped, and raped in the nearby fields. Nearby residents of villages Hassanpur and Kurad ran over to help the terrified women who’d been laying in the fields for several hours after being brutally raped.
The villagers brought clothes for the women and provided care until further help came.
An eyewitness quotes:
“Three women were taken to Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba and united with their families in the presence of senior police officers. They appeared lifeless. District officials who arrived there, instead of investigating the matter, persuaded the families to take the women home. Many were provided transport,” said an eyewitness, who did not want to be identified.
Amrik Singh of Sukhdev Dhaba learnt of the incident at around 3am when travellers heard the women crying near his place of business.
Another eyewitness responded to after police broke the blockade with a lathi-charge, “They threw stones at other vehicles that had arrived there in the meantime, forcing the occupants to flee. Some women who were left behind were sexually assaulted,” the eyewitnesses said.
Nearby villagers who helped the victims are terrified because they believe the police and local officials will shield the criminals and come after them for testifying.
“We turned off the lights so as not to attract the attention of the goons. The hapless women remained there for hours till they were escorted out at daybreak.”
The police denied the allegations by stating them to be rumors however eyewitness accounts paint a different story.
The terrified victims lay still and some hid themselves after the incident to be found later by their menfolk and others were united with their families in the presence of senior police officials at the Dhaba, all appearing lifeless. Even worse, the victims and their families were reportedly advised by the district officials not to report the matter to anyone “for the sake of their honour” and persuaded the families to take the women home.
Nearby villagers shaken up by the incident said that the police are sure to shield the criminals and nobody, not even the locals are safe. They claimed that the rape victims were persuaded by some ‘district officials’ not to pursue the matter as it would bring them a bad name and that the incident cannot be undone.
Meanwhile, a senior IPS officer termed the incident as mere rumour and urged the media not to write anything that could create tension in society.