Dalit gang-raped in Kankipadu mandal

Kolavennu (Krishna), Aug. 30: Even as the leaders of non-governmental organisations and heads of governments across the world are busy in a world conference at Durban in South Africa against all forms of discrimination, a group of youth from this tiny village, molested a woman under the dark sky, while she was returning from her night shift from an oil mill.

The incident occurred on Saturday night and the hapless woman had to wait till Tuesday evening, with all the suffering, for her husband to return from his duty. Her husband, a truck driver, was good enough to understand the injustice done to his wife and stood firm behind her. He immediately rushed to the community elders, who also extended support to the couple. It was only then, the couple reached Kankipadu town, 15 km away from the village and lodged a complaint against nine accused.

The three daughters, in their minority, were unaware of the incident and were confused why their mother was sick and why their father was serious, meeting the elders and talking so strong and so firm. As if it was not enough, the family lost one of their members on Thursday and the entire village was seen in grief, mourning the death and condemning the atrocity on the woman.

A 75-year-old Jacob, while speaking to Deccan Chronicle on Thursday said it was the most inhuman incident that had occurred in the village. "The youth have no morals these days and they are guided by the evil force," he said. However, at that age, Jacob declared his support to the family and said "when the husband accepted his wife, it is the responsibility of the community to stand behind the family in fighting for justice," he said.

There are as many as 20 women who attend to their duties in the oil mill, which is located right on the Hyderabad-Machilipatnam National Highway. Some attend to the day shift and some in the night shift. It was the mason, Munagada Sarada, who stopped the woman on her way and separated her from the rest of the members. Then, Sarada helped the youth, Kundeti Srinivasa Rao, to reach the woman and drag her to the bushes on the road-side.

Srinivasa Rao's friends, Mudraboyina China Veeraiah, Kolavennu Koteswara Rao, Kundeti Venkata Rathnam, Kanumuri Anjaneyulu, Mudaraboyina Subba Rao, Saggurthi Venkateswara Rao, Kolavennu Srinivasa Rao and Patamata Nagaraju went to the rescue of their friend in dragging the hapless woman, beating her up with sticks. They tied her hands and legs and raped her one after the other. She fell unconscious and got up a little later. She reached home some time in the mid-night and spent two days in tears, waiting for her husband. The Kankipadu police arrested all the accused.

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Referred by:Sashi Kanth
Published on:31 Aug, 2001
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