Demanding fast action on Hathras case: Sexual harassment victim's father shot dead

Demanding fast action on Hathras case: Sexual harassment victim's father shot dead

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Here is the victim's story in her own words- 

“In 2021, Hathras is still no place for women. For 2 months, Gaurav Sharma kept asking me to marry him–he used to live nearby, but I barely knew him. He was infamous for being a goon, so I rejected his proposal. I didn’t know then that a simple ‘no’ would make my life a living hell. 2 months later, he barged into my house, grabbed my waist, twisted my hands & said, ‘shaadi karle warna uthake le jaunga’.

My parents rushed in to stop him from forcefully undressing me. Papa yelled, ‘chodenge nahi saale ko’ & filed a complaint. But Gaurav Sharma was barely locked up for 14 days–even before I could recover from the shock, he used his political connections to get out on bail.

The next day, he came to our village & made an announcement publicly, ‘If Ambrish Sharma doesn’t withdraw the case, I’ll kill his family.’ Terrified, I begged the police to give us protection, but they said, ‘Kuch hone do, uske baad dekhenge’. Another cop warned us to back down, ‘They are bigshots, don’t even think of fighting them’.

Our family was alienated from the rest of the village–our neighbours would say, ‘Ladki ke baap ko sar jhukana hi padta hai’. They broke ties with us fearing that even they could be targeted by these goons.

I often thought of dropping charges against Gaurav, but Papa would ask–‘How can he get away with molesting somebody’s daughter? Today, it’s you...tomorrow, it could be someone else!’ For 2 years, I had to confine myself to 4 walls–Gaurav would drop by at least 7-8 times a month to threaten Papa. This once, he chased Papa with a gun for half an hour and kept yelling, ‘Case wapas le le warna maar dunga.’

When I think of it now, I wonder how Papa managed to stay strong. He'd say, ‘If you are the father of a daughter, you must be brave.’ But Gaurav made me regret being born–he’d follow me everywhere & try to intimidate me into marrying him. His men would threaten Papa–'We'll ruin your daughter’s life’, they’d say.

For 2 long years, we lived with the fear of being murdered. We asked for our basic right–protection; it was denied. They said, ‘call us only after something happens’ & it did; the worst possible thing happened & not one person came forward to help us.

That day, I’d gotten out of my house only to go to the temple. But when I arrived, Gaurav’s newly-wed wife & his Masi were there. They started hurling abuses– ‘kaisi kaisi ladkiyan hoti hai’, ‘Bh*nch*d hai iska khandan!’ I ran away & rushed to Papa; he was at our farm. I sobbed & told him what had happened. Just then, Gaurav called Papa–‘I’m coming to give you an ultimatum!’

I knew the police would do nothing, still, I called & begged for protection. ‘I’m busy. Call 112 if something happens’, the cop said & disconnected the call. That afternoon, around 3.30pm, Papa spotted Gaurav & 5 of his friends driving towards the farm. After a brief argument, Gaurav held Papa by his neck & said, ‘Ab tumhara time aa gaya hai!’

Everything happened so quickly after that; I still can’t process it. The 6 of them hounded us & took their pistols out; Maa & I froze as they fired in the air. Before we could react, one of Gaurav’s allies pointed the gun at Papa & shot point blank on his head. Within 30 seconds, 5 more shots were fired at him–Papa fell to the ground. After, they fled in their car.

I screamed for help, but there was nobody around. It took an hour for the police to arrive–at the hospital, Papa was declared dead. I felt dead from within, but it was only the next day, as I carried my 52-yr old father’s dead body on my shoulders to the burning ghat, that it hit me–they’d killed Papa just because he stood up for his daughter.

The next day, I filed an FIR–It’s been 15 days since Papa was shot & his murderer is still at large. The police claim that they haven’t been able to find Gaurav yet, but how is it possible? I know they’re protecting him because he’s a politician.

For how long will the women in UP continue to suffer? What is the guarantee that he won’t shoot me or Maa tomorrow? I could be found lying dead in the same farm or be gangraped by Gaurav’s men & nobody would wink a lash!

How long will we be bruised, raped & killed? The cops don’t care, the government wants to preserve their vote bank & men treat us like property. This is not the India I want to live in–either catch the culprits or kill us as well; it’s better to die at once then to die bit by bit every single day.”
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The victim in the 2020 Hathras sexual harassment case is demanding justice after the accused shot and killed her father last week.Sign this petition to help fast-track the case, and get justice. No family deserves to go through this, and it’s time we raised our voice. 

Humans of Bombay takes full responsibility for the authenticity of this account, as told to us by the victim on 10th March, 2021. Her story has been shared and this petition has been created with her full consent. 

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