In a shocking incident, a mentally challenged woman was allegedly gang-raped by two men near Makhdoom Sahib shrine in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. The woman became pregnant and delivered her still born child in open under extremely cold weather on November 20.
The incident came to light after a Facebook post by a member of Srinagar-based women help group Kashmir Women's Collective.
"The face of the mentally challenged woman who delivered a child in open on a roadside in this weather on Nov 20 and pulled out her foetus in pain isn't letting me sleep in this cosy bed," Mantasha Binti Rashid wrote in a heart-rending post.
According to Rashid, the woman's family has distanced from her and she has been turned down by many government agencies.
"The pain, trauma and the unstitched cuts on her body are not letting me complain of my backache. She's mentally challenged and many like me are wasting away their mental faculties. Her family is distancing from her because she's mentally challenged and now raped, and I am upset because my family sometimes seems to bother much about me," Rashid added.
The incident has been reported to One Stop Centre for Women in Srinagar, which is run by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.
Sameena Mir, the state coordinator at State Resource Centre for Women, Department of Social Welfare, J&K, while replying to Rashid's post stated that the case has come to their notice and they will assist in the required health and institutional care of the woman and her child.
The post sparked a much-needed debate on the absence of shelter homes for the victims of domestic abuse, rape and other crimes against women.
"In absence of proper shelter homes, it is very difficult for victim survivors to be supported. We must advocate for at least one professionally run shelter home for women. We are trying but no avail yet," Rashid said.
UPDATE: Rashid told the International Business Times, India that her organisation contacted a Kangan resident , in the outskirts of Srinagar who had taken the girl to a nearby Primary Health Care centre after learning about her condition.
"Her family and relatives distanced themselves away fearing social stigma, as a result she used to roam freely on roads. She was most likely raped in the evening at the nearby graveyard and due to her mental instability, she cannot recognise the accused," Rashid added.
"The KWC has got in touch with the Police and the investigations are on," she added.