Mentally-challenged woman delivers stillborn baby after gang rape

A mentally-challenged woman delivered a stillborn baby on November 20 after she was gang raped by two men near the Makhdoom Sahib shrine in Srinagar. A Kashmir-based social activist has put up a social media post of how the woman was forced to pull out the foetus all by herself and said she has now been taken to the hospital.

The woman delivered the baby at an open under construction building without anyone’s care or supervision.

Social activist Mantasha Binti Rashid wrote in a social media post on Saturday that the woman was taken to a hospital. Rashid is a member of women’s help group Kashmir Women’s Collective (KWC).

She said her organisation contacted a Kangan resident, who had taken the victim to a nearby primary health care centre after learning about her condition.

“Her family and relatives distanced themselves away fearing social stigma, as a result she used to roam freely on roads. She was most likely raped in the evening at the nearby graveyard and due to her mental instability, she cannot recognise the accused,” Rashid said.

KWC has got in touch with the police and investigations are on to nab the culprits.

She further wrote in her Facebook post, “The face of the mentally challenged woman who delivered a child in open on a roadside in this weather on November 20 and pulled out her foetus in pain isn’t letting me sleep in this cosy bed (sic).”

She added that the woman’s family has distanced itself while the woman has been turned down by many government agencies.

“The pain, trauma and the unstitched cuts on her body are not letting me complain of my backache. She’s mentally challenged and many like me are wasting away their mental faculties. Her family is distancing from her because she’s mentally challenged and now raped, and I am upset because my family sometimes seems to bother much about me,” Mantasha wrote.

The incident has been reported to one stop centre for women here. The centre is run by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.

In response to Rashid’s post, Sameena Mir, the state coordinator at state Resource Centre for Women, Department of Social Welfare, said the case has come to their notice and that they will assist in the required health and institutional care of the woman and her child.

According to Rashid, in absence of proper shelter homes, it is very difficult for survivors to get support. “We must advocate for at least one professionally-run shelter home for women. We are trying but to no avail yet,” she said.

No FIR had been lodged so far.

About Asmat Khan

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