The devastated father of a 22-year-old girl brutally raped and murdered in India – by a man she rejected before he left her body to be eaten by dogs – reveals he had to identify his daughter’s body covered in maggots.
Father Mahender Singh, 45, and mother Baed Kaur, 40, from Sonipat, in Haryana, northern India, give their first interview since they found out their only daughter had been abducted, raped and killed in the most shocking way, in a crime that has shocked India.
Mother Baed said: ‘I’ve never heard of a scene more horrendous than this,’ Baed said. ‘My daughter had always been afraid of being raped. She used to always ask me to lock the door if she was home alone. But look how she died? She experienced both in the most brutal way possible.’
The couple’s 22-year-old daughter worked in a packing department of a pharmaceutical company and was on her way to work, on May 9, when she was abducted.
A man known to the family, called Sumit Kumar, 25, has been arrested as the key suspect. He lived in a nearby village and had been in love with the young girl, but had been unable to accept her continuous rejection when he kept asking her to marry him.
Bad said: ‘She’d left home at 8am that morning but when she hadn’t returned by evening I got worried. My son and I went to the factory but it was closed. That’s when we reported her missing. But it wasn’t until neighbours came round and told me that my daughter had been raped and murdered in the most brutal way after they’d read it in a local newspaper.’
The young girl had been on her way to work on May 9, when Sumit kidnapped her – with a group of friends – and forcefully made her drink sedatives before she was driven to a jungle, around 60km from Sonipat.
There, they raped her before subjecting her to the most brutal torture and killing her, leaving her naked body in the jungle to be eaten by stray dogs.
A post mortem report confirmed the brutality of the crime, which stated that iron wires had been inserted into her mouth, her internal organs and private parts had been damaged beyond recognition and her face had been smashed with bricks before she was run her over with a car. Even sections of her hair had been torn out and scattered around the vicinity.
Father Mahender Singh, 45, had to identify his daughter’s body at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), in Rohtak, on May 12, but still cannot come to terms with what he saw.
‘Her body was unrecognizable,’ Mahender said, who works as a daily wage labourer earning just Rs 100 a day. ‘When I arrived, her body was in a dustbin. No one had placed her body on a bed.
‘She had over 200 maggots on her body but I picked her up in my arms and put her on a stretcher. It took doctors four hours to remove those maggots from her body. I managed to identify my daughter by her clothes and a chain her mother had gifted her a few days earlier. ’
‘I will never be able to get that sight out of mind.’
The 22-year-old had dreams of one day becoming a doctor and was working every day packing pharmaceutical goods, earning Rs 5,000 a month, to save for her future studies as well as contributing towards the family’s expenses.
Her heartbroken mother added: ‘She was earning money so that she could study further as our financial condition was not good. She used to save half of her salary for her studies and give me the rest to run the house. She was a good girl.’
‘She was not only my daughter but also my closest friend. We shared a great bond.’
Baed said the suspect had been harassing her daughter for a period of 12-months constantly asking her to marry him.
Baed complained about him to police three months ago but the matter was resolved when the boy’s family apologized and promised to stop the harassment.
Baed added: ‘His mother even threatened to kidnap my daughter and force her to marry her son. My daughter refused to marry him because she knew he was unemployed and loud, she knew marrying him would bring disgrace to the family.
‘A fortnight ago he approached her again and blocked her way as she walked. She slapped him but it only infuriated him more and he said he’d get revenge. But I had no idea he’d do this. They could have shot her if they wanted to kill her, why did they have to torture her so much.’
‘Why did they have to do this to my daughter?’
Baed, who also has a 20-year-old son, admits giving birth to a daughter in India is dangerous.
It has been reported that ten girls from the same pharmaceutical company have resigned fearing similar incidents since the attack.
Baed said: ‘I wonder which is a bigger mistake, to give birth to a daughter or to educate your daughter? Giving birth to a daughter in India is a crime. If a girl has to suffer this torture, then it’s better not to have a girl child. If crimes like this continue to happen I pray none of my friends or relatives are blessed with a daughter.’
Baed remembered her daughter’s last morning at home as she lay surrounded by her family. ‘She didn’t have breakfast that morning,’ she said. ‘I offered her Rs20 to get a juice on her way into work but she gave it back to me saying I should save it. She was an understanding and caring girl who could survive without food for days but would never complain. I was so proud of her.
‘She was never really bothered about marriage. She wanted to study and have a career so that she could help us financially. How will I live without her now?’
‘I have no idea how I’ll cope with this loss.’
Police have arrested two suspects so far, even though doctors believe there could be several more involved.
Dr Suresh Kumar Dhatterwal, head of the forensic department, at PGIMS, said: ‘Police showed utter negligence in this case. When they left the body here, they mentioned the name as unknown and gender as male. They suspected the cause of death to be dehydration and hunger and that the person was mentally unstable.
‘But it was a brutal case of rape and murder. A large and harsh weapon had been inserted in her private parts to cause further injury and it had ruptured her anus. Her head was brutally smashed in order to hide her identity. The bones of her head were badly broken.’
‘We suspect several men have raped her and killed her.’
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mukesh Kumar, in Rohtak, said: ‘We have arrested the two accused in this case – 25-year-old Sumit and 21-year-old Vikas.’
The two have been arrested under Sections 302 (punishment for murder), 376 A (punishment for rape), 376 D (gang rape) of the Indian Penal Code and the case will be heard in court within the next 90 days.
Baed added: ‘I will not hide my face in shame. I will now fight for justice until my last breath. I will bravely come forward and fight for the rights of my daughter. She did nothing wrong. The man who did this should be hiding his face in shame. I will kill myself if we do not get justice.’