Rape survivor dies sans compensation

AHMEDABAD: Saira (name changed), 19, a rape survivor who was living with her mother and brother on a footpath in the walled city, succumbed to medical complications late in February. While officials of Gujarat State Legal Services Authority (GSLSA) could not be contacted, sources privy to the development said the survivor or family did not receive any compensation.
Saira was a rape survivor who needed help the most. She was so brutally raped and subjected to unnatural assault resulting in her intestines being damaged, leaving her incontinent, unable to control her stool and urine. Admission to almost all government institutions was denied to her because of her condition.
The paperwork in the case started after TOI had reported the plight of the family, fending for themselves by the side of the road, in November 2017. According to sources, after a meeting of the committee to decide the amount of compensation, the process had started but continued for three months.

“Meanwhile, we had shifted her to an observation home in Mehsana. The mother had refused to send her to any institution for women or an asylum. She had taken the survivor back and they were living with a cousin in the Danilimda area according to the last news. The survivor died there. We also sent her body for a postmortem, which found the cause of death to be natural,” said a city police official.
The 19-year-old girl with learning impairment had been raped at multiple places. The brutality of the assaults, including unnatural sex, forced her to be hospitalized first at Civil Hospital and later at VS Hospital. A native of Palanpur in Banaskantha, she was back on the city’s streets after the observation home in Palanpur refused to shelter her because of her incontinence. Officials added that the government had taken cognizance of the case and had got the fingerprints of the survivor and her mother to open bank accounts.
The Gujarat high court had admitted a suo motu application to rehabilitate the girl and her family. They had no identity documents, hindering the compensation process, they added. The survivor’s DNA samples were also collected, which were cross checked with the deceased in February.
“The family was about to get some money so they could survive in the city. However, she died before the process could be completed,” said the official, on condition of anonymity. Despite several attempts, the concerned GSLSA official could not be contacted to ascertain if the amount to be paid to the survivor’s family was fixed and why the process took three months when the family was uneasy about going to an institution. It is not yet decided if the mother will now get the compensation.

About Asmat Khan

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