In the recent past a generous amount of media attention has been given to crimes inflicted upon women. Thankfully these are being reported instead of being swept under the carpets. And a majority of them have come up from the national capital itself. Priyadarshini Matoo a college student was raped and killed inside her own residence, a medical student was raped at khooni darwaza (the name itself is creepy), the Swiss diplomat, the Presidential guards’ dishonourable tale all speak for themselves. The rape of a deaf and mute girl on the Mumbai local train left many dumbfounded. Yet these are only a few in a very,very long list.
The NRI lady who came down on behalf of an NGO and was raped multiple times at Ghatshila, wrote about herself in a leading daily about a month later. She wrote—“If they thought they could rob me of my honour then they were sadly mistaken. My honour does not lie between my legs”.

I read this woeful tale about a fortnight back. A highway in Bihar connects Patna to a place called Vikram (80 kms away from the capital) which runs through Kishangunj. It is a regular practice on the part of truck drivers on this route pick up women from villages alongside the highway. Some wait to be picked up while others are just unfortunate. In this particular case a 14-year old girl was kidnapped, possibly raped multiple times and dumped near a canal bridge on the night of 22nd September 2003. She lay there by herself until October 20th. Bleeding, in a taumatised condition, she hardly managed to blurt out her name, her father’s name and that she was from Kishangunj. When taken to a hospital by a local teacher, the doctor advised her to be shifted to Patna Medical College. Residents did not take any further responsibilty as they feared police harrassment. She died on October 24th at her old dumping place crying for her mother.

The police of that area are extremely harried at this incident. The officer-in-charge of Vikram police station regretted the fact that “they had not shifted her out of their zone as her death there has brought them a bad name”.

Possibly honour does not lie between a woman’s legs but her existence does.

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