NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A 12-year-old girl who was abducted and gang raped has been refused admission to a school in the Indian capital, the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday, showing how the stigma attached to victims of sexual assault persists in the country.
The father of the girl - neither of whom can be named as the victim is a minor - told the newspaper he had been trying to find a place for his daughter in a local school in east Delhi, but the school had rejected her. The report did not name the school.
"My daughter was kidnapped and had been missing for quite some time. During this period, her school struck her name off its rolls. We got a school-leaving certificate and approached another municipal school as she didn’t want to go back to the same school," the father was quoted as saying.
"The principal told me that she was aware of everything that happened to my daughter. She said my daughter was likely to run away again with the boy and that she wouldn’t take her responsibility and refused her admission."
East Delhi Corporation Commissioner S. Kumaraswamy said the case would be investigated. "I will look into the issue. If this has happened, it will be set right and admission will be given to the girl," Kumaraswamy was quoted as saying.
National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics showed that 244,270 crimes against women were reported to the Indian police in 2012 against 228,650 in 2011, with the most rapes recorded in New Delhi.
Victims of sexual assault often face stigmatisation in this largely conservative country, where a woman or girl's perceived sexual behaviour is often linked to so-called family honour, and where society, including the police, may blame the victim of rape rather than the perpetrator.
In April, police in northern India locked up a 10-year-old rape victim after her family insisted on pressing charges against the alleged rapist, a local man of a higher caste.