Vrindavan, 2017.09.16 (VT): Vrindavan is in shock after the September 11th gang rape of a Sadhvi at the Radharani Temple in Barsana.
The victim is from Puri, Orissa, and used to live near the temple of Jagannath. Following the untimely deaths of her husband and son, she became a Sadhvi two years ago.
She was sleeping the hall below the main temple when two men accosted and raped her. The men were later identified as Kanhaiya Yadav, the temple chaukidar (guard), and Pangu Thakur, one of the temple’s cooks.
The Sadhvi immediately went to the police station to report the crime, but the police kicked her out. The unfortunate truth is that the police in Braj generally do not take any action without a court order. Filing an FIR is extremely difficult without court intervention.
However, the victim proceeded with the investigation on her own. Not knowing anyone in Barsana, she asked around until she located the perpetrators, whom she recognised by face. She then created a public outcry by telling her story to anyone who would listen.
The incident went viral on social media, after which the Mathura SSP became aware of the incident and ordered immediate action.
“Nobody wants to listen to me, but Radharani is watching,” said the Sadhvi. “She will make sure that justice is served.”
Five days after the rape, the victim has finally been examined by a doctor and whatever evidence is left has been recovered from the crime scene.
Fortunately the entire incident was captured on CCTV. It is not clear whether the person responsible for monitoring the CCTV camera was complicit or merely shirking his duty.
One of the suspects has been apprehended while the other is still at large. Needless to say, they are no longer employees of the temple.
According to the Radharani Temple administration, people will no longer be allowed to sleep in the temple premises. The beggars have been permanently evacuated from the temple’s stairway and Parikrama path.
Temple officials say that their employees will now be under greater scrutiny and those seeking employment at the temple will be subject to background checks.
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