Fourteen-year-old Ruchika was molested Aug 12, 1990 by S.P.S. Rathore, who rose to become Haryana’s police chief. She was immediately expelled from school. Her brother was arrested by police of possibly no reason, other than the police taking their revenge against her.
The policemen under Rathore stoned her house, used to follow Ruchika till her home to ensure she isn’t going elsewhere to complain about him. On the day of judgment too, someone called her father and threatened him to keep silent and take all the charges back. She committed suicide three years later. CBI convicted Rathore in the molestation case and sentenced him to six months’ imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs.1,000. Rathore was immediately granted bail by the court. Ruchika’s family is now seeking compensation from the Haryana government for the mental trauma they have put through in the last 19 years.
Heights of injustice! It took the complainants nine years to lodge an FIR! And 19 years for the courts to pronounce Rathore guilty! And a sentence of six months of imprisonment and Rs 1000 as fine was awarded to the guilty man. An absolute failure of the judicial system. Our laws do not recognize that a child can be molested. What hurts the most is the absence of law and order unless there is a big halla over an issue. For 3 years this girl lived, sobbing painfully trying to fight for her rights- no one paid the slightest attention! This case came too, and went from media spot light numerous times. 19 years have passed- and all of a sudden the country seems to have melted for a girl who would have been 33 now, if alive! Where were the candlelight vigils when she actually needed them- when she was alive? Today as I type this, many such Ruchikas are compromising their miserable lives for many such suicides. Think about it…
This happened with Ruchika 19 years ago. Tomorrow, this can happen with anyone of us. The need is to protect every child in this country. Remember, more than for Ruchika, this is for you! for me! for our sisters! our friends! our children! Lets take this case as an opportunity to improve the system, and ourselves. It’s high time we must take charge of the problems around us.