On March 27, 2021, EastMojo published the harrowing tale of a teenage girl who was was abused, raped and beaten by a family in Arunachal Pradesh’s Roing, Lower Dibang Valley. The girl, who had been sheltering at a children’s home at that time, had accused Aka Kalung, a government employee, of raping and abusing her and his wife Jaya Kalung of physical abuse when she found out about her husband’s actions.
While the 15-year-old minor victim was repeatedly raped and suffered extensive trauma over the years, what made matters even worse was when she recounted the abuse to her parents, who work as daily wage labourers in Nepal. They called her mentally deranged.
But thanks to the intervention by local NGOs, who took the matter to the state child welfare committee, a case was filed against Aka Kalung under the POCSO Act.
However, what has happened since has left the victim further traumatised and in need of support from law-abiding people.
The victim’s story:
The victim, in her statement to Childline, Roing, said that she had been repeatedly raped by her employer Aka Kalung in the absence of his wife Jaya Kalung. However, she was only now aware of what was happening to her at that time. Kalung had also threatened to kill her if she mentioned anything to his wife. She also mentioned that her employer gave her pills and urine test kits on multiple occasions to avoid unwanted pregnancy. However, on one fateful day while Kalung forced her to remove her clothes and was trying to rape her again that Jaya caught him red-handed, but beat up the minor brutally instead.
Following her statement, the police report confirmed that the minor lived with Jaya Kalung and accused Aka Kalung at New Colony in Arunachal’s Roing. She was brought by Jaya’s mother (whom the victim termed as Nani Maa) from Nepal when she was about 7 years old and worked as a domestic help at the accused’s residence.
The dubious role of the victim’s father
The prime accused, Aka Kalung, managed to get interim bail from the High Court before the case was registered. However, the case took a drastic turn after the biological father of the minor victim came out as an alibi of the accused. In a statement to the police, the victim’s father said that he has been living in the accused’s house in Arunachal Pradesh ever since he came from Nepal in March 2021.
The father also filed a petition on June 23 against the Investigation Officer (IO) of Roing police station, the Child Welfare Committee and CCI, Roing. In the petition, he termed the custody of the victim by the CWC as illegal. On June 25, the Court ordered Nani Maria Children Home, where the victim was kept for further counselling, to hand over the child to the local guardian identified as one Pinky Deb, since Deb’s mother hails from the same village as that of the petitioner. The court also allowed the petitioner to meet his daughter as and when needed.
“It has been over three months that the victim has been waiting for justice. However, no lawyer has stepped up in time to fight the case for the minor who now suffers from traumatic past experiences of being repeatedly, forcefully and unnaturally raped and molested by the accused for years. The father’s involvement has made the case more complicated and we believe that he has been influenced by the accused family and is unable to understand the seriousness of the crime,” said RK Paul Chawang, Director, Childline, Roing, Arunachal Pradesh.
While the case is ongoing, it remains to be seen how the victim manages to fight against both the perpetrator and her father, who seems far more convinced by the accused’s story than his daughter’s pain.