An intriguing story about how a son’s DNA helped track down mother’s rapists
42-years-old Savita has opened up about her story, which may be a beacon of light for others like her. She is a rape survivor who was made a victim of sexual harassment at the age of 12. Thirty years later, her son helped the police track down his mother’s rapists.
The brave woman narrates her story by telling that she was getting ready one day for work when she received a call from her lawyer. Savita was informed that Uttar Pardesh police had taken two men into custody who had raped her when she was 12.
Talking to a media outlet, she said that she felt a mix of different emotions. It was relief, exhaustion, sadness, and anger – all at once.
Savita had delivered a baby boy at the age of 13 as a result of the rape. Her son’s DNA test helped the police to arrest the accused. The two men involved, Naqi Hassan who is 51, and Mohammad Razi who is 48, are brothers.
Shahjahanpur’s senior superintendent of police, S Ananad revealed that her son was the biggest evidence they had. Not only that, but it was also her son who gave her the courage to file a police complaint, 30 years after the incident.
What happened 30 years ago
Back in 1994, Savita had developed an interest in learning how to ride a bicycle. She was a student in grade 7th and lived with her sister and brother-in-law in the Shahjahanpur district. Her mother, two brothers, and four other sisters lived in a village named Hardoi while her father was serving in the army.
The 12-year-old would ride the bicycle in their neighborhood after school. There, a group of men would sometimes stand in front of her bicycle and pass comments like, ‘See, there’s a new bird in the area.’ They would also laugh at her as she remembers it years later while telling her story. Savita added that she wouldn’t understand what their remarks meant, however, the memories are still crystal clear in her brain years later.
The group included 2 boys named Hasan and Razi who were then aged 22 and 20. Savita reflected on what happened with a heavy heart. She stated that one summer afternoon her sister and brother-in-law had left for work. The two men jumped over the wall and entered the house and raped her. They also threatened her not to tell anyone or they would kill her sister.
This continued six more months, but the 12-year-old was too scared to open up to anyone. A few months after the rapes, she started feeling constantly unwell and dropped out of school. Her sister took her to the hospital where the doctor said she was pregnant. The doctor also informed them that considering her young age, she might not be able to survive an abortion.
‘It was shocking for everyone. I confessed everything to my sister,’ she added. The doctor urged them to file a police complaint. But instead of doing that, they went to Hasan and Razi’s parents and told them everything. ‘Their father didn’t believe us,’ Savita said.
The two accused came to their home at night with a pistol and beat her sister and brother-in-law. They got so scared that they moved to Rampur which was 160 km away. When Savita’s parents got to know about what happened, they were ’embarrassed.’ They were also angry at her and told her not to come back to the village.
At the age of thirteen, she gave birth to a baby. She wasn’t to talk about the baby, let alone ask its gender. It was separated from her.
Savita’s sister also got divorced because her husband was ashamed of what happened. ‘My sister’s life was also ruined because of what happened to me,’ she stated.
Savita’s marriage, divorce, and how she met her son Raju
Savita then returned to school and completed her studies till matriculation in the year 2000. At the age of 18, her parents married her off to a guy who didn’t have any idea about the incident.
In 2002, she gave birth to a baby boy again. She describes the time period as happy until her husband got to know about her past from someone in the village. ‘He was furious and didn’t want to touch me,’ she revealed.
He told Savita to leave with her four-year-old. She moved to Lucknow with her son.
On the other end, her first son, Raju was 13 at the time. He lived with his mother’s relatives and when they gave birth to a child of their own, they started treating him differently. Upon getting to know of his mother’s divorce, they sent him back to his mother without telling her, and the two were reunited.
In 2019, Raju urged his mother to file an FIR. He gave Savita the strength to face everyone. Initially, she was scared of what the relatives would say. However, Raju made her realize that everyone had turned their backs on her.
Raju also told her that it was the right thing to do. ‘What if you are not the only girl? Why do we get to suffer for no reason?’ He added.
Finally, in July 2020, they went to the police station. The police refused to take her case as it was old and had no leads. But then she met advocate Mohammed Mukhtar Khan who proceeded with the case. He took the case to the court of a chief judicial magistrate. Under section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the course demanded the police file an FIR, which started the investigation,
Initially, it was hard for the police as the two were truck drivers and were constantly on the move. Savita started making efforts on her own. She visited numerous mechanic shops and got Razi’s phone number.
‘I called him. He immediately recognized me and was surprised to know I am still alive. I told him that it’s his turn to die now,’ she told.
After fighting long and hard, Savita got them arrested. She said that she doesn’t care about what people will say. She is fighting her fight and she hopes other women would be encouraged to speak up too after they listen to her story.
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