Six hours of Gujarat in
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When queried by this reporter as to why the threat of a single person, however powerful, made the community run away instead of resisting and why did some villagers stay in the village, Tasweer
Ali, son of Azmat Ali, 33 years, replied that some people did not take the threat for real until it really happened.
By around 9:30 am, more people of Pandit community and their supporters had gathered. Now they started to close in on the village. The Sains could not think of anything except to hide in their homes. The crowd was shouting for revenge. They first surrounded the Sains’ houses before starting their attack. The crowd first targeted Saleem’s house before moving to attack his
neibours. Their doors were forced open, at times snatched away, belongings were looted and cooked or uncooked food was destroyed. Men of all ages were beaten severely with batons. Even the 80-year old Kallu was not spared. “I could not move freely so I had decided to stay in the village,” he said adding in choked voice that he “begged for mercy but they were raining lathis (batons)”.
Same was the treatment for all males who could not run away. They were told, “today you have nowhere to go.” None of the Hindu villagers of Dhanni
Deeh, who number around 100, tried to help the Sains in this hour of trouble. Instead, some of them, identified to this reporter by their names, were part of the savage crowd. After this session of beating and destroying property, the foretold “consequences” began to unfold at around 10 am. Now the crowd started to beat the womenfolk in the same manner. They were asked to strip naked. They pleaded for mercy but no one was ready to listen. Some women escaped to the fields but found the enemy everywhere as the whole village and its agricultural fields were surrounded by the crowd. Women who asked for help were instead caught, stripped and beaten black and blue before being dragged and raped in the open and left to run and again caught and raped by another group at another corner of the village. The whole crowd was playing cat and mouse with naked women crying and running here and there seeking help. “We had nowhere to go that day. We asked each and every person we met to help us but none came forward,” said
Khairunnisa, wife of Moinuddin, 21 years. Fatima, wife of Abid Husain, 60 years, told MG: “We were raped because one of our boys had eloped with Barkau's daughter. The culprit must be punished. Hamen saza
kyun.. ham ne kya kiya hai jo hamari izzat looti gaee (Why were we punished? Why were we
“We were not on talking terms with Saleem’s family because he was very much friendly with people of the other community,” said Sadrunnisa's husband
Samiullah. Two women, aged around 50 years (Sadrunnisa, wife of Shabbir Ali and
Fatima, wife of Sultan Ali) lifted the shirts to show the signs of injuries on their backs. They even said that they were ready to show the injury marks around their private parts. “We are not ashamed as we have no Izzat
(chastity/honour) left”, they said. Each of Sabrunnisa, wife of Samiullah (30 years),
Sadrunnisa, wife of Shabbir Ali (50 years), Shakira, wife of late Shahabuddin (38 years),
Fatima, wife of Sultan (55 years), Salamunnisa wife of Abdurahman (40 years),
Bitana, wife of Muzim (22 years), Khairunnisa, wife of Moinuddin (21 years),
Fatima, wife of Abid (60 years), Kitabunnisa, wife of Amir Ali (36 years),
Zaitunnisa, wife of Basharat Ali (43 years) and Shafiqunnisa, wife of Imaduddin (23 years) said that she has been raped and that too in the open. Only one woman,
Sabrunnisa, told MG that she was raped inside her house. Sabrunnisa and Khairunnisa were still sick when this reporter visited the village even after ten days. Injury marks could still be seen clearly on different parts of their bodies. It is hard to deny anything they are claiming because the marks of beating and injuries were still visible.
The rape and beating session continued for about six hours and came to an end only at around 4:30 pm when the attackers got tired. Police teams which were earlier visiting and searching the village twice the day before, were nowhere to be seen or heard. People in the area allege that this savagery was committed at the behest of Ashok Mishra and Ghanshyam Pathak of Sirsia who are said to be the main organisers of the attack. The whole attack was well-planned and systematic. Even the beatings were such that no one received any kind of head injury or fracture or cuts and no one was killed.
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