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Sexual Violence by Sharmila Banu’s Father , Mukkanamalaipatti, Pudukottai

Sharmila Banu is a daughter of Hasina Banu and Babu khan. She is 15 years old. Hasina belongs to Mukkanamalaipatti village of Pudukottai and Babukhan belongs to Thirukattupalli, Tanjavore district. Sharmila has a sister Fathima, 10 years old. Hasina banu lived with her husband in Thirukattupatti for some years after her marriage. Even after two months of marriage Hasina realised that her husband is a drug addict – alcohol, liquor, injection etc. He consumes any of this drug and be in the kick for 24 hours. He used to sexually harass Hasina. Knowing all these bad habits of Babukhan, Hasina started her married life confidently – hoping that she can change the attitudes of Babu khan in due course. But Babu khan did not change himself and he continued his behaviour and thrash Hasina and her daughters every day. Hence Hasina used to come to Mukkanamalaipatti and stay there. Babu khan will come to Mukkanamalaipatti and search for Hasina and his daughters and scold everyone who speak in favour Hasina.

In this situation, Hasina decided that she can not live with him and hence she hired a house at Mukkanamalaipatti and lived with her daughters. Hasina engage herself in domestic work in Mukkanamalaipatti village. As she had an opportunity to go to Chennai for household work she took Fathima (second daughter) with her and left Sharmila in the custody of her sister in law in Thirukattupalli.

Three months back, Sharmila got matured. Her father Babu Khan tried to have sex with her in Thirukattupalli. Babukhan’s father has seen this. Hence he opposed Babukhan not to do that. Babukhan got angry and beated his father which is filled as a case in Thirukattupalli Station. Hence he escaped from Thirukattupalli and come to Mukkanamalaipatti village.

At this juncture Hasina was informed to come to Pudukottai as her daughter got matured. While she returned from Chennai, Sharmila informed her mother that Babu khan used to have sex with her for several years (approx. 10 years) as suspected by her mother. Hasina was shocked by this news and she complained this to the Mukkanamalaipatti Jamaat. But they said that this is a very sensitive family issue which should not be expressed to others, because it will spoil the image / future life of Sharmila. But Hasina could not tolerate this and she approached STEPS to take action against Babukhan.

STEPS registered this case and directed the case to All Women’s Police Station at Keeranur on 28th of September. The police officials in Keeranur station did not even give receipt for the petition and asked us to contact the station after two days i.e. on 1st of October. We called the station on 1st October Morning. But the police official asked us to counsel Babukhan and if the counselling failed then we can bring the case to the police station. We were surprised by this response from a women police station. Counselling can be done for the family problem. Sharmila’s case is a criminal case. How can we counsel a criminal. With all these questions in mind we gave a petition to Superintendent of Police, Pudukottai on 4th October and requested him to take immediate action to arrest Babukhan. Based on the pressure from Superintendent of Police, FIR was filled against Babukhan on 5th of October and he was arrested by the Annavasal Police station. As the accused was arrested, Sharmila was also called by the police and she was kept under the custody of Annavasal police from 5th onwards. She has been shifted to All Women Police Station, Keeranur, Annavasal police station and Thirukattupalli without giving any information to STEPS and Hasina. She stayed in women police station on 5th October. Her statement given to police station is slightly different from that of hers in STEPS.

Now, Hasina was not allowed to enter into Mukkanamalaipatti village, as Hasina did not obey Jamaat. Sharmila was admitted in the Government Hospital for one week for medical check up. She was taken to Keeranur Court on 12th of October, and the Magistrate handover Sharmila to her mother. Hasina took Sharmila to STEPS and gave in writing that STEPS can rehabilitate Sharmila and she agrees to the efforts of STEPS for the future of Sharmila. Sharmila was staying in STEPS Short stay home for 5 months and now She is staying with her mother.

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