Part 1

Part 2
The Inside Story
BOKARO, APRIL 21: There is curfew in the city. In Patna, the Assembly is adjourned. There are protests elsewhere. In a bleak room in Bokaro's Central Hospital lies the girl who is the middle of all this.

``She faints often. She screams and cries when she is awake. The rest of the time she sleeps, sedated,'' says her father, a senior manager with the Bokaro Steel Ltd.

Her mother, her eyes swollen and tears trickling down, says: "What is there left to be said?''

Maneesha, 16, is a Class XII student. She was gangraped by 19 people on April 5. The police have arrested only 12 of them.

Those arrested include Islam Ansari, Feroz Shah, Habib Ansari and Anwar Ansari, mechanics at the motor repair shop near her father's official residence. All the arrested persons and their families live at Charru Basti on the periphery of Bokaro.

"Whenever Maneesha crossed the shop, the Ansaris and Shah used to wink and whistle at her,'' says Bokaro SP V H Deshmukh, quoting the statement given by her father.

The policesay Maneesha was taking an evening walk outside her house on April 5, she was alone. Suddenly a tempo van stopped near her, two of the three men in its back seat got down. One of them covered her mouth with his hand, they pulled her inside the van and sped off, the police say.

According to the police, she was taken to Churra Basti. For two nights and one day, she was held in a dingy two-room house of Jalaluddin Ansari.

Even though more than a fortnight has passed, the police have failed to arrest any one of the seven, including Jalaluddin, who allegedly raped her on April 5.

After she was abducted, a relative of Maneesha had reportedly informed SHO Rajesh Kumar and Dy SP Mohammad Nihal. But the police couldn't trace her. "We were tipped off by Farooq Ali and Naushad Ali of the same basti on April 7. They said they had rescued her from the clutches of the criminals. We went there and found her in an unconscious state. We brought her to the hospital in the afternoon,'' said the relative. He says thepolice refused to register a complaint on the night of April 5.

Soon Bokaro erupted. On April 9, Bokaro saw a procession taken out by the BSL Employees Union. The next day, life came to a halt with the bandh called jointly by the BJP, Samata Party, CPI, CPI-M and the Shiv Sena. They wanted the arrest of the seven absconding accused and the dismissal of Kumar and Nihal. The parties called for another bandh on April 17 and that day Bokaro witnessed communal clashes.

Three shops belonging to Muslims were set afire and two police vehicles torched allegedly by Shiv Sainiks on the bandh day. Nihal was transferred to Chatra. A shoot-at-sight order was issued, curfew clamped and five companies of paramilitary forces deployed.

"We are doing our best to nab the culprits. They will be booked soon'', says Chotanagpur IG J K Sinha who has been camping here since April 16. The police are yet to record Maneesha's statement as she is in no state to speak. ``Doctors have said we can talk to her only after she is backto normal," says Deshmukh.

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After five years, life-term for rapists - Compensation for victim

Bokaro, May 22: The additional district judge I Mahendra Jha today gave life sentences to 22 persons in the gangrape of 15-year-old girl Monica of St Xavier’s School in April 1999.

Of these, six have been sentenced for plotting the abduction of the minor.

Besides life imprisonment, the court has directed the 16 rapists to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 each whereas six others have been directed to pay a compensation of 20,000 each to be paid to the parents of the victim, Chandra Prabha Prasad and Gaya Prasad. The compensation amount would be for the treatment of Monica, who is fighting for survival.

This is the first judgment of the country when a rape victim has been given compensation for treatment and the rapists and conspirators being sentenced life imprisonment with such conditions, court sources said.

The persons who have been found guilty under IPC 366,34, 376, 2G/34, and 120B include Yunus Ansari, Abbas Ansari, Talib Ansari, Noor Alam Ansari, Mansoor Ansari, Sirajuddin Ansari, Habib Ansari, Anwar, Islam Ansari, Feroz Shah, Abdul Sattar, Gaffar Ansari, Momin Akhtar, Saiyuum Ansari and Khadim Hussain who is still absconding.

The other six who have been sentenced for plotting the abduction of the girl include Muzib Ansari, Shabbir Shah, Iqbal Shah, Quazi Rizwan, Pramod Pillai and Mani Swamy

Monica, now 20 years old, is mentally retarded and unable to walk or move on her own.

She can never lead a normal life nor become a mother said a police officer who went to record her statement on the directive of the court.

On 5 April 1999, Monica, daughter of a senior assistant general manager of Bokaro Steel plant, a student of Class XII, was kidnapped by half a dozen youths and taken to a place called Bharra.

Sixteen persons, aged between 22 and 55, raped the girl at a secluded place and later dumped her at a isolated spot, taking her to be dead.

Monica, a karateka was kidnapped after she thrashed a local police officer’s nephew, who tried to misbehave with her, sources said.

Court sources said, the next morning after the rape, Monica somehow managed to reach a local resident who immediately admitted her to Bokaro General Hospital and the police was informed about it.

But the incident took an ugly turn when Bokaro DSP Mohammad Nihal reported to the then SP V.G.Deshmukh that it was a fake case.

When the incident was reported with the photographs of the girl in the newspaper the next day, thousands of residents started a mass agitation in the city for the arrest of the guilty persons.

Due to the public unrest and arson in the city, curfew was clamped for three days and the then IG Jyoti Kumar Sinha started the manhunt for the culprits in which 21 persons were arrested.

After a DNA test, it was confirmed that all 16 persons were involved in the rape incident.

When the court deputed a police officer to record Monica’s statement, it was reported to the court that the rape victim had virtually turned into a lump of flesh, as she was mentally in a shock, unable to talk or react.

Even the doctors attending on her said Monica will never be able to lead a normal life again.

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Teen tormentors in gangrape net

Bokaro, May 20: After five agonising years, the law finally caught up with the rapists of a 20-year-old girl, a former student of the local St Xavier’s School.

Additional district judge I Mahendra Jha held 16 people guilty of rape and charged six more with plotting her abduction in April 1999.

The girl, barely 15 then, was gangraped by 16 men after being kidnapped for vendetta. Mentally-retarded and paralysed after the incident, she is now counting her days at a hospital in Cuttack.

The punishment will be fixed on May 22 by the judge, sources in the court said. On April 5 1999, the Class XII student, daughter of a senior assistant general-manager of Bokaro Steel Plant, was kidnapped by six youths and was taken to a desolate place called Bharra on the outskirts of the town. She was gangraped by 16 men throughout the night and then dumped on the roadside after she passed out. The goons took her to be dead.

The teenager, a karateka, was kidnapped for revenge as she had allegedly thrashed the nephew of a local police officer, who tried to misbehave with her, police sources said. Though the role of the police officer and a section of policemen came under cloud, no action was taken against them.

Court sources said the next morning, the girl, injured and profusely-bleeding, reached the house of a local resident, who admitted her to the Bokaro General Hospital and informed the police. But the incident took a communal turn after then Bokaro deputy superintendent of police Mohammad Nihal told the then police superintendent, V.G. Deshmukh, that the case was fake. When the incident was reported with a photograph of the girl in the newspapers the next day, people took to the streets demanding the arrest of the guilty.

Curfew was clamped for three days after rival groups clashed and tension escalated. A case was later filed at the local police station and the DNA test confirmed the identity of the rapists. The persons found guilty of rape included Yunus Ansari, Abbas Ansari, Talib Ansari, Noor Alam Ansari, Mansoor Ansari, Sirajuddin Ansari, Habib Ansari, Anwar, Islam Ansari, Feroz Shah, Abdul Sattar, Gaffar Ansari, Momin Akhtar, Saiyuum Ansari and Khadim Hussain, who is still absconding.

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