Citizens for Justice and Peace

Behind rape, suicide of teen in UP village: no toilet at home

18, Jan 2016

Her body lay in a morgue for more than two days before autopsy was conducted on January 15. The delay in conducting the autopsy has sparked a blame game between the local administration and police.
Lakhimpur Updated: Jan 18, 2016, 8:10
Inside the only pucca room lies the charred remains of a blanket. There are two other rooms of mud and thatch, two bicycles and gunny bags of rice and wheat provided on Saturday by the local administration. What is missing is what set the stage for the alleged sexual assault and suicide of one of the six daughters of this house — a toilet.
“We don’t have any money to build toilets. It is not because we like to defecate in the open, but we have no other option,” said the 45-year-old mother of the 16-year-old who was allegedly raped on Tuesday night while she had gone to the fields nearby to relieve herself in Bargadiya village, about 25 km from Lakhimpur Kheri district headquarters in UP.
Police from the nearest station at Gola said the girl committed suicide by setting herself ablaze on Wednesday. They added that the accused Nirdesh Verma, an 18-year-old from the village, was arrested on Thursday following a complaint of rape, abetment to suicide and intimidation lodged by the girl’s father.
But that’s small consolation for the girl’s family and other residents in the village of around 500 people. With toilets in only 12 households, they say their women are helpless.


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