Delhi teen, 2 brothers raped for year by school van driver, friends
A 13-year-old Delhi girl and her two younger brothers were allegedly gangraped for over a year by five men led by the driver of the van in which they went to school, senior police officers said today.
The driver, Lalit Ratwal, 32, told the children, aged 13, 11 and 7, that he would kill their mother if they spoke about the assaults. The mother is a widowed homemaker who provides for her children out of a small business of paying guest accommodation in Karol Bagh.
Ratwal was arrested this evening. The van, a yellow-and-grey Maruti Omni, has been seized.
The girl’s medical examination has confirmed rape; reports are awaited for her brothers. A case of rape has been registered, but it is not established yet if Ratwal was one of the rapists, said a senior officer. Ratwal’s four alleged accomplices are absconding.
The children’s mother came to know of the assaults 25 days ago, after she asked her daughter about some marks on her body that “looked like syringe marks”. The girl broke down and told her mother what had happened.
The fear of stigma and consequences for the children, however, kept the woman from disclosing to anyone what she had learnt. But last night, no longer able to bear the pain of her own silence, she took her neighbour, Subhash Nagar, into confidence. At around 10 this morning, Nagar went to the police.
“I had to persuade her for long,” said Nagar, who is a local Congress leader. “I told her that if nothing else, going to the police would help bring to light other such cases where children were sexually assaulted.”
The girl went to a school in Old Rajinder Nagar; the boys to one in New Rajinder Nagar. “According to the girl, the children would be taken to a place they couldn’t recognise, where the driver and four others would force them to have a capsule, or inject them with a drug. The children would have no recollection of what happened afterward,” Nagar said.
The children had not been going to school since the day their mother found out about the rapes. Ratwal had reportedly told their teachers they were unwell. The teachers had believed him because he was a familiar face.
Nagar said the accused had also made a “blue film” with the children, which was with the four men who are still absconding. The police could not confirm this.