This is the story that not just shames humanity but will likely deter women in rural India from undertaking social healthcare jobs.
In Muzaffarnagar of Uttar Pradesh, a 40-year-old worker belonging to Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) had gone to assist one Shahid’s sister-in-law, who was giving birth.
Three months later, the ASHA worker, also a mother of three, committed suicide after the video of her rape allegedly by Shahid went viral on social media.
A fellow Asha worker told Indian Express that the accused used to “block her way in the village and made advances at her” from the time she turned up at his house to help his sister-in-law.
Muzaffarnagar SSP K B Singh said the woman or her husband never lodged a police complaint about the alleged rape.
“Her husband filed a complaint only after her suicide, but he did not mention the time or date of the alleged crime,” said Singh.
Singh added that the video appeared to have been shot in a field and had gone viral on WhatsApp.
Meanwhile, the local MP and a minister of state in Narendra Modi cabinet, Sanjeev Baliyan visited the victim’s family.
He said, “The district administration has given a meagre compensation of Rs 30,000 to the family. The woman ran the house as her husband is bedridden. They have three children. I have asked villagers to help the family and I, too, will personally help them.”
The accused has now been arrested. Pradeep Gupta, Superintendent of Police (City) said, ” The accused was arrested late Tuesday night and, during initial interrogation, he admitted to raping the victim as well as circulating the video clip. He has been sent to judicial remand for 14 days.”
A friend of the victim said that after she learnt about the 30-second video, she had gone into a state of shock.
She said, “A couple of days ago, when the 30-second video was circulated in the village, her children and husband got to know about the incident. But when her husband asked her about it, she refused to speak. She told me that everyone would blame her.”
The ASHA worked recently staged protests in the area, which continues to remain tense.