The incident has brought under the spotlight dismal record of Madhya Pradesh on crimes against women
A minor girl, raped and bleeding, went from door-to-door seeking help but was turned away, shows security footage from a neighbourhood in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain.
Ujjain police chief Sachin Sharma, responding to reports that residents refused to help the 15-year-old, disagreed, saying they did help her with money. A grand total of Rs 120.
"There were mixed responses. People in the localities she passed through had helped her. Some gave her Rs 50, others gave Rs 100. She crossed a toll booth on the way. The staff there gave her money and some clothes. At least 7-8 people tried to help," the officer told NDTV.
CCTV footage show a man shooing away the young girl, who was half naked after the assault. She finally got help at an ashram, where a priest gave her his clothes and called the police. Twenty minutes later, the cops came, and she was rushed to a hospital.
On the visuals of the man turning away the teen, the senior police officer said, "We traced the video and questioned people in that area. When we found her, she had 120 rupees that people from the locality had given her."
When it was pointed out that the girl needed medical attention more than cash in the circumstances, the officer Sachin Sharma replied, "People may have had reservations. But financially, they tried to help her as much as they could."
The officer also said the girl was not specifically asking for help, but approaching people and telling them that someone is following her. "In the statements we have recorded, people have told her that she was repeatedly saying, 'I am in danger, someone is behind me'. So she was not stable, people responded accordingly," he said.
The girl's condition is now stable, though she has suffered very serious injuries. There have been no arrests in the case so far.
Police have now found that she is from another district in Madhya Pradesh, about 700 km from Ujjain. She stays there with her grandfather and elder brother. On Sunday, she left home for school but did not return. Her family members had also filed a missing complaint.
The incident has once again spotlighted the dismal record of Madhya Pradesh on crimes against women. Madhya Pradesh reported the most rapes in the country in 2021, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. More than half of these crimes were against minors.