On February 6, 2023, the Maharashtra Police arrested four people including one pastor accused of raping a 35-year-old Hindu woman. Her family was tortured and allegedly forced to convert to Christianity.
The incident took place in the Davat Mala area of Sinnar, Nasik.
The four accused include Butti, Prerna, Bhausaheb Dodke and a pastor named Rahul. The identity of the fifth individual is not known yet.
According to the victim, she was trapped by the accused and they tortured her family since November 2022. The FIR (First Information Report) was filed under IPC Sections 323, 328, 344, 376D, 504, 34, 76 (I) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015.
Notably, the woman and her husbands are labourers who migrated to Sinnar from Raytewadi in Sangamner in search of a job. The entire saga began on November 30, 2022. While she was going to Musalgaon from her home, she was suddenly stopped by a few women who asked about her.
The women introduced themselves as Prerna and Butti and took her to their home where another man (Bhausaheb) was also present. The trio asked her whether she knew anything about Christ and Christianity.
She was persuaded initially to change her religion to Christianity and thus all her problems and grievances will be resolved.
After this incident, a pastor named Rahul arrived on the scene and he offered her red water and showed her a picture of Christ.
After drinking the water, she fell unconscious. Later she was trapped in the room with Butti and Prerna where Bhausaheb had sexual relations with her without her knowledge and permission.
On December 2 2022, the women took off the victim’s Mangal sutra and tied a black thread on her neck saying that she was now a Christian. She was brutally tortured while she was trapped in a room with the accused. Pastor Rahul, Bhausaheb and a forty-year-old man raped her on December 20, 2022.
The victim was also brutally manhandled by the three men who threatened to kill her if she divulged anything about the rape. Butti and Prerna sent another man inside who was described by the woman as her new owner.
The victim then strongly protested and used abusive language against the perpetrators who were trying to sell her.
On December 17, 2022, her husband who was searching for her, reached the spot along with her younger son. The duo were threatened and asked to leave. As they refused, the accused hit her son and was forced to beg for them in the streets.
Her husband was also threatened to be killed. She and her son were trapped in the house.
On December 29, 2022, the victim’s husband managed to rescue them. The accused told them to leave Sinnar and keep their mouth shut. However, a social worker guided the family to lodge a police complaint.
Eventually, the complaint was filed on February 4, 2023, and all the accused were booked and caught in the police case. They will be kept in custody until February 8, 2023, before the court proceedings begin. Further investigations are underway.