Doctors say injury would not hamper her speech

A victim of gang rape, whose tongue was slit last week in Pratapgarh, has been discharged from hospital and doctors have said the injury would not hamper her speech. She was assaulted allegedly by the kin of the accused.

The girl’s “refusal to elope” and “dowry demands” possibly led to her gang rape, a relative of the girl told The Hindu on Wednesday.

“As per the custom, the girl and the boy met each other in the presence of relatives and guardians from both families. But an agreement over dowry could not be reached and the marriage was rejected by the girl’s father, who is a horse-cart puller. But the boy tried to convince the girl to elope with him. She refused and his attempts became more aggressive,” the relative said.

The girl, who is the third of seven sisters, was then gang-raped on January 22 this year, allegedly by the boy and two others. While the main accused is in jail, the other two are absconding.

Last week, the kin of the accused allegedly tried to chop off her tongue but only managed to slit it as the girl’s sister raised an alarm, the relative said. “A party was going on nearby, so her screams could not be heard.”

The girl is to record her statement on July 24.