In September, 50-year-old Sribai Dhanak of Abchand village in Sagar, in a daring act, rescued a gang-rape victim from the clutches of her tormentors. The miscreants held her hostage along with the children.
When the story of Sribai Dhanak’s courage reached the police, SP Atul Singh sent her name to Bhopal for being honoured.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chaihan is going to honour such bravehearts of the state in the same district through video-conferencing, said additional SP Vikram Singh on Monday.
Narrating the sequence of events, Sribai said: “On the afternoon of September 27, I was harvesting a crop of grass in the field. Suddenly, I heard a voice screaming at me ‘Amma, save us.’ I saw a woman and two children running towards me. There were no clothes on her body. Four people were chasing them. I shouted, Why are you bothering them? On hearing this, three people ran away. One came to me with petrol in a bottle and said: ‘She is my sister-in-law. Go away from here, else I will burn you alive too’.”
I picked up a stick lying nearby and called out to my son, Devraj, working at a distance. As soon as Devraj arrived, a person named Maehan ran with a bottle of petrol. We summoned Kaatewar Prahlada Rai of the village. He informed Sanaidha police. I sought one of my saris from home and gave it to her to cover her body. Her 2-year-old and six-month-old children were hungry. I asked for Rs 100 from Devraj and fed the children and their mother. She was also afraid to lodge a police report. We gave her courage and went to the police station the next day to record her statement,” said Salku Dhanak, quoting his wife, Sribai.
The victim said: “They wanted to sell me. I was married 5 years ago in Baleh. I have children. My husband works as a labourer. I got off the train at Sagar railway station around 5am that day. When I got out of the platform to go to Baleh, I saw a man. He asked where I wanted to go. When I said Baleh, he directed me to the bus stand. On reaching the bus stand, I was told that the bus would arrive at 8.30am.
“The same man followed me to the stand and asked me to accompany him to Gadhakota. I did. He took me to Abchand, where I was held hostage. They were four men, who wanted to sell me. Petrol was brought in a bottle. They threatened to burn me alive. Amma, who was working in a nearby field, saved my life,” the victim was quoted to have told the Sanaidha police.
The police have registered a case of gang-rape.