Karuna Devi, a frail woman from a village in Bihar, is inconsolable. Her 17-year-old son Chintu Kumar, who was the main witness in her gangrape case, was burnt alive by some men on Sunday.
She was gangraped by five men of her village in 2006. The trial is pending in the court. No arrest has been made in this connection till date, police officials said.
"All the nine accused are roaming free and we are frightened after they burnt alive my son," Karuna said. Kumar was set on fire after the assailants locked him up in a room in his house on Sunday afternoon in Garobigha village under Narhat police station in Nawada district, 150 km from Patna.
"I fail to understand the accused are not arrested yet. There is nothing left for me. I have lost all hope," Karuna told rediff.com over telephone from her village with the help of a social activist.
She said that her son was being threatened to withdraw the case and to not appear as a witness in the court. "They repeatedly threatened to burn him alive and finally they did it. There is no place for the poor seeking justice in Bihar," she said.
She said that she now regrets voting for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. "I don't know why I voted when he failed to protect me and provide me justice," she said.
Karuna said that rape accused were well-connected men. "They said they would teach me a lesson if I did not withdraw the case. What are poor people like us to do?" she said.
Magadh range Deputy Inspector General of police N H Khan had visited the village on Tuesday to inquire into the case. He also met villagers and local police officials in this connection.
The district police though, appears to be downplaying the incident. None other than Nawada Superintendent of police Sunder Lal Das declared Kumar insane and issued Karuna a bad character certificate, even before the police have completed an inquiry and submitted a report to the State government.
Das even tried to give new twist to the case when he said that Kumar was insane and set himself on fire. But the SP did not have any medical certificate in his possession to prove his point.