Her wounds hurt him

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Chapter 4

Finally, it was decided that Dhani and Akash would stay at Akash’s place and everybody else would leave the country for a few days. Dhani’s parents were worried about leaving her at this time. But they also knew that Akash would take good care of her, he wouldn’t let anything happen to her. Dhani and Akash drop everyone at the airport. Everyone was worried what the future had in store for them. Hope was something that everyone was holding onto. Hope that they would finally have justice.

The next day Dhani and Akash reach the court for their hearing. Dhani is asked to go first. She proudly stands up and says “A lady is Durga, a lady is Saraswati, and a lady is Kali. The difference between me and them is that they are all goddesses and I’m just a normal girl. Men worship these goddesses at the temples and check out girls outside the temples. Yes, this is the state of the country we are living in. Every thirty minutes a girl is raped and there are thousands of harassment and rape cases pending in courts. Our system has not been able to provide justice to them. There are still so many cases which go unheard because the girls are scared to come out and say it. She is scared of the society, the questions she has to face, the questions her parents have to face and their reputations. Preeti was lucky that she died, she didn’t have to go through this. But I wasn’t lucky enough; I was in a coma for a year. For one year I was in coma without having any idea of things happening around me. I lost my one year and then I slipped into depression after I woke up from the coma. I could hear what the society was saying about me, what the news channels were speculating about me. I stopped going out, I stopped talking to people. The person responsible for my state was free. I have lost four years of my life. No judiciary system can give that back. No system can bring my friend back. She is dead and all this is because of this one person standing here. He still has no sign of shame in his eyes. He is not ashamed of what he did, he is proud of it. He proved his manhood by raping two helpless girls with four other men.”

Then she tells what really happened on the night of her birthday. In the CCTV footage, the car was visible but Ankit had claimed that the car was stolen. Dhani requests for Ankit to be called to the witness box. As Ankit walks to the witness box her blood starts to boil just looking at him. She tries to keep calm and starts to question him. She asks him what happened to the car. He stays it was stolen. “Stolen from where?” asks Dhani. He says that their driver had taken the car and never came back. Dhani’s next question was whether they had filed a missing person report for their driver. Ankit had no answer for this. His silence was saying a lot. Dhani says she has no more questions for him and would like Preeti’s driver to come to the witness box.

He was the one driving Preeti to Dhani’s party. He is asked to tell what happened on that day. He says that Preeti was in a hurry that day; she was late to the party. Almost halfway to Dhani’s place, the car breaks down. He checks what was wrong. He tells Preeti that it would take long to get it repaired. As he is trying to contact someone to help them he sees a car driving their way. Preeti asks for a lift for them, informs him and leaves in a hurry again. The opposition lawyer objects here and asks him if he saw who was in the car that offered a lift to Preeti. The driver replies that he couldn’t see anybody’s face. The lawyer says that there is no point in having him as a witness, he cannot testify to prove anything.

The opposition lawyer calls Dhani into the witness box. He asks her to tell what happened that day. She says that she has already narrated everything that happened. She is then asked to tell everything in detail; where she was touched, who touched her first. She was getting uncomfortable. The lawyer who was helping Dhani lead the case asked for a bit of a time. The court grants them the break. Before they walk out of the court, Dhani faints in the witness box. Akash picks her up and lays her down on the bench. They try to wake her up by sprinkling water on her face. Nothing works. Akash rushes her to the hospital. As they reach the doctors there ask them to fill out the forms and complete formalities. He requests them to start to treat her first. The doctors don’t listen to his pleas. He finally makes a call to his Dad explaining the situation. Within minutes the doctors received orders from above to treat her.

Dhani was taken into the ICU. Akash felt helpless; his love was lying unconscious in a hospital bed with a bunch of wires attached to her. He had no control over the situation. He thought if those questions could bring her to this state how would she handle the whole fight. He even thought that maybe it was better to withdraw their case. He couldn’t risk losing her. A nurse walks out and informs him that the patient is awake and was asking for him. He rushes in to see her. She was lying there with an oxygen mask over her mouth and wires attached to her. He couldn’t see her like this. He asks her how she was feeling. Dhani, in a broken voice, replies that she is fine. He asks her to withdraw the case. Dhani was surprised to hear him say this; he was the one person who gave her confidence to do this. Now he was asking her to withdraw. She asked him the reason. He explains that nothing was more important than her, her safety and well-being should be above everything else. She just asks him one question; whether he would be satisfied without fighting, without having the culprits punished. He says no. They both knew her answer was the same too.

Akash asks Dhani to get well soon and to come back with a bang. While Dhani was in the hospital Akash was trying to collect evidence. One day at the hospital Akash was sleeping outside Dhani’s room. Dhani was on medicine and was sleeping inside. There was a noise which wakes him up. He sees a man leaving Dhani’s room. He tries to run and catch him but he couldn’t. He rushes in to see what had happened to Dhani. She was coughing. He tries to know what was happening to her. He sees that the color of the saline hanging above her bed had changed. He calls for a nurse. Even the nurse wasn’t able to figure out what was happening to Dhani. There was no doctor available at that time in the hospital. The nurse changes the saline bottle, but whatever was injected into it had already caused Dhani enough damage. She started to cough blood. They had already called for a doctor but it was taking too much time for him to reach. Akash knew Dhani didn’t have too much time. He was getting nervous, he wasn’t able to breathe.

She was feeling suffocated and finding it hard to breathe. Akash was losing his mind. He kept praying for the doctor to arrive soon. He was praying for her safety. They had luck on their side; the doctor arrived with an antidote for the poison that was injected into Dhani’s system. The thought of losing Dhani scared Akash too much. He was holding her hand while she was calmed down and fell asleep. He sat there looking at her; waiting for her to wake up. He was worried that this was going to happen again and again. Ankit would go to any level to stop this case even if it meant to kill Dhani. Fighting this case was getting her into trouble. He couldn’t inform their families about this. He didn’t understand what to do.

He realized how painful it was to lose someone you love. He had lost Dhani for a few seconds. After Dhani got better and was discharged from the hospital he took her to his place. He wanted her to stay in his sight all the time. He wouldn’t leave her alone at all; he had decided to keep her safe at any cost. Between all of this Akash had gotten a call from Ankit warning him to go away from Dhani, not to stand by her in this fight. Akash was not someone who could be scared by his empty threats. He knew they had a lot of luck on their side because Dhani was alive that day. Her state was too bad to come out alive. Just imagining her state that day was making him angry. Falling for Ankit’s threats was not an option now.

The next hearing was just three days away and Dhani hadn’t fully recovered yet. Akash tried his best to help her with the recovery. He too was a law student. He was trying to prep her for the next hearing. Dhani wasn’t strong enough but she couldn’t just give up. It was difficult to win against a person like Ankit but they hadn’t expected what happened in the next session. The hearing got over even before they could make a point. Dhani’s words had gone unheard. She was shattered.

They both were sitting in a room and there was pin drop silence. They had lost hopes in the system. They had to do something to shake up the system itself. Akash suddenly walks out and grabs the laptop from his room. Dhani couldn’t understand what he was doing. Akash was making a website. Seeing Dhani clueless he explained the idea to her. He told her he was making a website where all the people who have faced harassment could send their stories. They would make a case for every victim and they could keep their names anonymous. On the next hearing, which was a month later they would shake up the system. Akash did everything he could to get his website noticed. He posted it on social media.

In just a day the response was overwhelming. He was shocked to see how many boys and girls were harassed in their childhood. Rape was a crime present in every part of the country. Dhani was also shocked to see so many stories coming in. They had decided to do a candle light march at the India Gate. They posted this on the website and invited everyone to join them. A lot of people turned up for the march. Akash was speaking on the mike. He narrated the story of Preeti and Dhani. “16 December 2014 Nirbhaya was raped and the whole nation stood by her. She died and the underage rapist went free. He was “mature” enough to put a rod in a girl’s vagina but not mature enough to be punished for it. But that incident has changed nothing in Delhi. It’s time to bring that change”. People start to clap for him; he politely asks them not to clap and hands the mike over to Dhani.

“What we are planning to do might put us in jail, we might get punished. But if we don’t do this now, every hour a Nirbhaya Gudiya will die. So if anyone wants to leave then can leave right now”. Nobody left. She asks them to take leave from their jobs for the next fifteen days. “In these days whenever you see someone getting harassed in Delhi, throw ink on his face and leave. Now the question will be how you would prove that the accused was actually molesting someone. You will be provided a pen with a camera with which you could record the situation. Akash and I will help you with this. We are going to take help from the media too”. The plan was executed from the very next day. A lot of people had their faces covered in ink. It became top news in the city. Government was shaken with these people who are they?
No one knew that why internet was going viral with a campaign fight back with the crowd?
Gradually, it started happening in nationwide and government didn’t know whom to arrest.
The government was in trauma that what action should they take? They didn’t know that who is the actual victim and who is accused. There were a lot videos on YouTube which were getting viral and all the videos has the same contents that the person harassing the same girl now media lost the counting of these kind of videos? Dhani and Akash were happy that there plan was working perfectly.
The court hearing was got closer and there were yet a lot to do. Now when nation was in the support of Dhani and Akash, it was the time when Dhani and Akash should come out and tell the world that what was all this about. Dhani and Akash decided to make the YouTube video and tell everything to the world that what was happened in the past few weeks.
They were all set to make the video and, Akash setup the camera and it was Dhani’s turn to show her anger to the world and make every girl realize that why should she fight back with proud. Dhani said in front of the camera and AKASH set the recording.
Dhani: “Hi, I’m Dhani, I’m just a normal girl like those who used to go to college and enjoyed her life with her friend but one day which was unluckily my birth day, my two classmates raped my best friend murdered her and the worst part is, I didn’t even knew about this and I was cursing her that she was late to my birth party but when I went to her house at night and her mother told me that she already left for the party at that moment I was completely shocked that if she left for my birthday party and didn’t reach there, so what had happened to her, I was getting lots of negative thoughts. So, I told my sister to check out each and every hospital. And I was checking out on the road and I found the bracelet and after some distance I found her car, her car was broken but there was no sign of the accident. I looked around and in a few distance and I found the blood and I after that, I saw the dead body of my only best friend, her clothes were torn and her body was bleeding. At that point I didn’t know what to do so, I immediately called the ambulance and my father, her parents and my sister after that my mother and her mother both were full of tears but I didn’t know that I should cry or not and I wanted to kill the person who did this. Because my father and her father was the influential persons of the city so, the police was active. In two days police got the CCTV footage of the camera which was there on the road. So, they called us to the police station but at that moment, I got a call from one of my college mate and he told me that he knew who has killed my best friend. So, I couldn’t control myself and left for the address which he has given me but the worst part and the worst thing that any girl could imagine to her life was when I reached there, those fucking bastards showed me the footage and asked me if I knew them or not then I was confused because the car in the footage was his and then I realized that they are the killer of my best friend and they were proud that they showed their manhood to a girl who asked for their help. It was not that, they were stranger to my best friend, they were the collage mate, and she knew them, which is why she asked for the help when her car broke down but just because she always warned me to be careful of them, they raped and killed her, just to protect me she died and I was among them killers of my best friend. Somewhere in my heart I knew that what was going to happen with me, yes they raped me but it was my bad luck that I survived because my family reached there on time. I was in the coma for a year and depressed for 3 years so overall it was the 4 years and the good news is that the killers of my best friend are walking freely in the society because they bribed to the judge. Yes, I’m a girl who got raped and I’m not ashamed that’s why I’m not hiding the face, the one who should be ashamed, it is the society, it is our government and it is our judiciary system who let these rapist moving freely in the society, yes I’m the one who is behind this throwing ink movement. So, I’m not taking any name and I’m not blaming any name. If you are going to arrest then go ahead. I don’t have any problem. It was my outrage against the rape and it was my campaign to fight back with proud”.
Akash asked Dhani that is she sure about publishing the video on YouTube and after many years she was so sure about anything in her life. It has been four years that she has been assured of anything.
Akash did the editing and published it on YouTube. The next day they woke up the video was a national sensation and they were just discussing about the video and as Akash was preparing coffee for Dhani they got a knock on the door. It was the police, yes police was there at the door to arrest Dhani.
And she happily surrendered herself because she knew that what the next thing was going to happen. Akash just posted the status on the website that “Dhani was arrested”. This one sentence made the entire nation mad, before police could reach the police station, there were thousands of people in front of police station and they were charring for Dhani. Anyhow police managed to get her into the police station and the crowd was going to break the police station any time. There were no cases against Dhani and neither there were any laws which supported to make her accused. So, police was helpless. Dhani was standing in all news channels and Akash was leading the crowd of the nation. He was managing the website and managing the anger of the society, youth were breaking down in the Parliament, in the police station and everywhere. The police didn’t know that whom to arrest. Police arrested the only one person but this movement was spread everywhere like metro station, small cities and everywhere. Everybody was curious to know the case of Dhani and everybody was trying to know about Dhani and they were filing RTI to know about her. And one day it was more than thousand of RTIs filed to know about the case of Dhani. The only option the government has at this time was releasing Dhani. Dhani was being released within two days and it was the next hearing on the fourth day. Dhani was fighting her case by herself so, she needed to get prepared with the facts. So, for two days Dhani was completely busy in collecting the facts and she collected everything whichever she could have find from Google and anywhere. She mugged herself in the laptop. Akash was watching her from distance .He wondered how she was working day and night .She needed her family around her at this point of time but she can’t even meet them. He just went to kitchen and makes a cup of coffee for her. He brought coffee to her and she didn’t even notice. He thought to tap her on her shoulder and call her for coffee. Even after noticing she was not at all interested in the coffee .She was completely into her laptop which she meant to say for her next trial.

.He just asked her to take some rest but she was just not interested in this thing. She just thought of something and called Akash. Akash said “Do you really think we are going to win this case. Do you think is it worth what we are doing because when I am seeing the losses of the country I am realizing that not only the girl who got raped ,murdered and molested are waiting before the courtroom because we don’t have the half of the number we actually need. It’s really very difficult for everyone to get justice.

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