Ajmer rape case
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A gang befriended over 100 schoolgirls and raped them. They photographed the girls in compromising positions, using the images to exploit the victims.
According to the police and women-focused NGOs, it was difficult to build a case against the perpetrators, as most victims were reluctant to come forward. However, the photographs and videos used to blackmail the victims helped identify the accused and build the case against them.
Thirty victims were identified in the investigations; out of these, only about a dozen filed cases, and ten later backed out. Only two victims pursued the case.
The first judgment came in 1998, after six years of proceedings. The Ajmer District court convicted eight suspects and sentenced them to life imprisonment. Of the remaining eight suspects, Farooq Chishty, a former Indian Youth Congress leader, allegedly became mentally unstable, developing schizophrenia. As of 1998, his trial was still pending.
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Another suspect, Purushottam allegedly committed suicide soon after he was released on bail on March 8, 1994. However, reports claim he is still alive. Six other suspects, including Sohail Ghani, disappeared and remain at large. Saleem Nafees Chisty was captured in January 2012, but posted bail; no further information is available.
The Rajasthan High Court reducing the life sentences of four out of eight to 10 years imprisonment, while maintaining the life sentence for the other four. The Government of Rajasthan the decision in the Supreme Court of India where the four had challenged their convictions. In 2004, the Supreme Court dismissed both appeals filed by the state, as well as the convicts. A bench comprising Justice N. Santosh Hegde and Justice B P Singh said “having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view that the ends of justice would be met if the sentence is reduced to ten years rigorous imprisonment.”.
After the rape, most victims experienced harassment and threats, with no support from society or their families. According to police investigations, about six victims allegedly committed suicide. Ajmer Mahila Samooh, who tried to take up the victim's cause, withdrew after receiving threats.
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