Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

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One man has been taken into custody following the incident — AFP/Files
One man has been taken into custody following the incident — AFP/Files

CCTV footage of a victim of sexual assault wandering around in the Indian city of Ujjain with torn clothes and wounds for over two hours has sparked outrage on social media.  

Numerous individuals expressed their outrage following the release of CCTV footage depicting a man seemingly dismissing a young girl who approached him. 

Local law enforcement officials, however, informed the media that the girl, who wandered through the streets did receive assistance from some individuals.

A senior police official confirmed through a medical examination that the girl had been subjected to sexual assault. 

Ujjain police superintendent Sachin Sharma informed ANI news agency on Thursday that they were interrogating five individuals who had come into contact with the girl.

He added that the girl was initially disoriented and unable to provide any details about her whereabouts. As of now, the police have not officially determined the girl’s age.

The incident garnered widespread condemnation from politicians and on social media after a brief CCTV video surfaced online this week. The video shows the girl, seemingly bleeding, walking along a road on Monday. 

At one point, she approaches a man who appears to dismiss her with a wave of his hand before walking away. The police are currently reviewing additional CCTV footage from the area to trace the route the girl took before receiving assistance.

According to Mr Sharma, the girl had been reported missing from Satna city, which is more than 700 kilometres (435 miles) away from where she was eventually found, on Sunday. 

She received assistance from Rahul Sharma, described in media reports as a Hindu priest, who found her in a distressed state.

Rahul Sharma recalled, “She could not speak. Her eyes were swollen. I inquired about what had happened, but she spoke in a language I could not understand. I also offered her a pen and paper, but she was unable to write anything.” He provided her with clothing and promptly called the police, who transported her to the hospital.

On Wednesday night, a police statement announced that the girl’s injuries had been treated, and she had undergone surgery, although specific details were not disclosed. The BBC attempted to reach out to Ujjain police for further comment.

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Misra stated on Wednesday that the girl’s condition was now stable. 

Opposition leaders in the state criticised the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over women’s safety in the wake of the incident. VD Sharma, the state BJP chief, assured that the police would take “stringent action,” and the culprits would not escape justice.

Priyank Kanoongo, chairperson of the National Commission for Protection Of Child Rights, announced that he had contacted local police and administrative officials in Madhya Pradesh to gather more information about the incident. 

Activist Yogita Bhayana, who has worked with several rape survivors, expressed her determination to locate the girl’s family and offer them support.

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