Raju was playing with his friends in the village playground. Suddenly it started raining, and all the kids decided to head back toward their houses. Raju purposefully took the longer route as he wanted to enjoy playing in the rain. Instead of taking the road, he went from within the bushes and was running through the small paths within the farms, completely lost in his childhood innocence. Suddenly, he stopped after his eyes fell on something heart-wrenching.

The body of a teenage girl lay there with all her clothes torn, her face barged with rocks, her spinal cord broken, her tongue cut and blood splashed over her soulless face.

Raju cried out of fear, turned back and ran the fastest he had ever in his whole life all the way back he had come. He reached the road and kept running till he was able to reach his house, with tears rolling down his cheeks out of fear.



“When did she last get out of the house?” asked Inspector Rupesh Singh.

“It was in the morning at around 5 am, Bidiya had gone out to work in the fields, and I was supposed to join her at 10 am…but before that we…we got the news that our daughter…” and Vishal broke down.

“I know it’s a difficult situation for you, but who are you suspecting?” the inspector asked Sushila.

“Whom can we suspect, we are poor people, we didn’t have any enmity,” a teary-eyed Sushila said about her daughter.

“No maa…don’t lie…we do suspect, Ravi, the victim’s brother intervened. “We suspect Kuldeep Shukla. At least 10 people have confirmed seeing him going towards our farm. We suspect him, sir, we suspect him”.



“Mishra Ji! We will have to take your son to the police station for investigation. He is allegedly involved in the gruesome gang rape and murder of a girl in the village,” inspection said.

Nipenendra Mishra raised his hand, signalling something to his servant standing beside him. He goes inside and comes back after 5 mins. Looking at the inspector he says, “You will get the answer in a while. First tell me, what will you have tea, coffee, cold drink?”

“No sir…thanks! A poor girl was brutally raped and murdered and  I just want your son…”

Suddenly his phone rings and the inspector picks it up.

“Jai Hind sir!”

“Go to hell with your Jai Hind. Have you lost your mind? a roaring voice on the other side of the call said. “Do you have any idea whose son you guys are talking about? He is our key leader of the region, a temple leader and an essential part of party plans. Leave his place immediately. And rub off this case as soon as possible”.

“But sir…the case is in the public domain…how will we close it like that”.

“I knew it…you are not the right man at the job. You are being replaced with another inspector on this case. He will manage everything. You just get out of there”.



“Sir please don’t do this…We won’t cremate our girl till that bastard is arrested…you can’t force us like this”, said Vishal before he was pushed away by the policemen.

The officers were carrying the victim’s body in their jeep and had just reached the cremation site.

“Don’t come in our way…let us do our duty” said the constable while taking their victim daughter’s body.

Five officers lifted the girl’s body and barricaded the area, allowing the pleading parents to look at the body only from a distance.

“Let us at least look at our girl once…we won’t be able to see her ever again” Sushila screamed before she was pushed so hard that she fell on the ground.

Two other constables held Vishal by the ground. And they saw their daughter’ eing placed on the woods and then ignited into a fire mound.

The parents kept on crying and begging for mercy. But nothing was going to help them as the policemen were following the orders of the clergy.

The more the victim body is out, the more investigation will become suitable. So the orders aimed to make the case messed up and justice unreachable.

It took some six hours when the fire finally stopped. But  no evidence, suspect or victim was left and the case had got completely botched.

Injustice had rolled over, pushing all hopes into fire. But, somewhere a courageous was gearing up to bring justice with all the right desire.



Aashiq Siddique, along with his cameraman Anuj Chopra entered the Dholakpur village on the bike, before stopping after looking at the police blocking the roads along with barricades.

“Hello, sir! What is the issue? Why the roads are blocked. We have to enter the area for coverage. We are from media,” Aashiq asked the officers after coming down from his motorcycle.

“See! We have orders from above. No one can and will be allowed from here. It would be better if you all get back,” the officer said.

Aashiq came back to his bike and stared at Anuj in disappointment. After being denied the coverage, the two decided to return back. Suddenly, Aashiq opened his phone and read a news notification, “Dholakpur Rape Case: Investigating team claims no trace of semen found on the victim”.

At this very moment, something stuck Aashiq. He signalled Anuj to stop.

“Hey…set up the camera!” said Aashiq.

“Here…are you sure?”

“Absolutely…set it up…right here right now!”

In the next 15-20 minutes, Anuj prepared the setup and Ashiq got ready with his mike.

“Namaskar Aadab…today I am going to EXPOSE how grave injustice was committed to a poor Dalit girl in Dholakpur. First, she was brutally raped and killed, then a shoddy piece of the investigation was done to save the accused and finally, the evidence was fabricated to finish all traces. The police forcibly cremated the body even without her family’s permission at 2am in the night. Now, the investigating team is claiming that no evidence was found on the victim’s body. Well, they didn’t mention that sperm can only be traced if samples are sent to the laboratory within 72 hours, But, here they PURPOSEFULLY sent the samples only after 5 days so that semen can’t be traced. All this is being done solely because the rapist happens to be someone close to the political circles. Now, it is our responsibility to come out in support of this girl. Just like we came for Nirbhaya, a decade back. JAI HIND.”

The episode shook down the Internet. The video reached over a million views in a few hours. It started increasing the public outcry and soon, pressure started mounting on the government to act against the accused in the case.

It also shuddered the power centres. A team of five bureaucrats reached the top leader’s office to take “direction” on what should be done now. Then emerged a saffron-clad ASUR with a shaven head, nasty earrings and an ugly face. After an hour-long meeting, the officers went back after taking “orders” from their leader.



Aashiq and Anuj, who were camping on the outskirts of Dholakpur, suddenly look at a police team of 8-10 officers removing the barricades.

“It seems our Blockbuster report has created an impact and they will let us in now,” said Aashiq.

“But, why are they coming towards us,” asked a puzzled Anuj.

The officers reached where the two were present and smashed the camera and other equipment taking them under their possession.

“I am Inspector Abhishek and both of you are under arrest”.

Before the two could have understood anything, four officers grabbed and then handcuffed them, and pushed them inside the jeep.

Addressing a press conference a few hours later, Commissioner Sandeep said, “Some anti-social elements have been trying to disrupt peace and order in the city by spreading some false claims. We have arrested two people in this connection. We have INPUTS that they have received foreign funding and were aiming to incite riots in Dholakpur. We will press NSA and UAPA against them. We urge everyone to keep ‘HARMONY’ in society”.


“Tell me who funded you…rascal,” asked a policeman after hitting an upside-down Aashiq with the rod for the 10th time.

“Aaaahh…no one f…funded…aah” Aashiq was hardly able to utter after all the beating. “This is n…not r…right”.

“SHUT UP…just shut up. Till you don’t admit it, you will continue to be served this treatment,” growled another constable.

“It’s ridiculous…this guy is just not admitting anything…we have been smashing him for so long,” another constable said.

“Wait guys…he needs something else I guess” In came the inspector and signalled two men to enter the jail cell. Suddenly, the ropes with which Aashiq was tied upside down were cut, and he fell down with a bang. The two evil men who had entered the cell, started smashing him with kicks right over his face and stomach, leaving Aashiq crying his hell out, in a pool of blood.

“Oh guys…too much blood…do some cleaning now” the inspector ordered his men. They didn’t concur even a bit of delay in opening their zips, and followed “the orders”.



The victim’s parents came out of their house listening to the strange and loud sounds coming from outside the house.

“HA HA…where are you guys now…huh? You wanted to send me to jail. See who has landed in jail instead,” the rape accused Kuldeep shouted in front of the victim girl’s house.

The parents stood there in complete despair and fear. A saffron laden mob stood outside their house holding slogans in support of accused Kuldeep. The mob also vandalised the cow shelter adjacent to their house and set it on fire.

“Always remember the caste you were born in. And never dare try to come over that. Yes, I raped and killed your FU**ING daughter and if I am in the mood, I will do that again. Do whatever you want to. FU**ING pigs,” Kuldeep said.

The family sat there crying out of fear and sorrow. The mob went back cheering and laughing. The family knew their girl won’t be getting justice.



“You are asking for his custody in a serious case. But what evidence do you have?” asked the judge while hearing about the case of Aashiq’s arrest.

“Your honour…we have complete evidence that Aashiq was receiving foreign funding and orders from some anti-India powers. We have emails that completely prove our claims your honour,” the advocate representing the government said and passed on the e-mail evidence to the judge.

Ashique wondered all the way which e-mails are being talked about, that he doesn’t have even slightest of the idea. He was still optimistic that the ruling will come in his favour.


“Jai Hind sir, we have beaten the shit out of him, and even did shit over him, but this Ashiq is just not signing on the documents,” the inspector said to his supreme leader.

“Don’t worry…I have activated my men…e-mails will be planted on his device. You just get ready for the chargesheet and make sure that this idiot rots in jail. And yes…continue with your treatment,” the evil voice stated.


After reading the evidence carefully, the judge said, “The allegations against accused Ashique Siddiqui are very serious. After looking at the evidence produced, the court is prima facie of the opinion that the accused is indeed involved in something that needs further investigation. Looking at it, the court grants 6-month custody to the NIA for probe”.

Ashique was left completely distraught by the verdict. He stared in despair as the cops pulled him and took him away from the courtroom.



3 Years Later

There is a bang at Ashique’s jail cell door. Ashique wakes up completely scared. He sees the constable standing with a lady.

“Hi I am Vandana Shukla. I read about your story and I want to fight your case. I will try my best to get you bail”.

“Th…thank you s…so much…but what will I do now. My whole life, career, and everything has been destroyed. The case that I was working on, is closed. I failed completely in my life. I wish death comes sooner and takes my pain awa…”

Suddenly, Ashique started coughing badly. Vandana came forward and held him, but his condition seemed bad. Soon, she saw that Ashique is actually vomiting blood here.

She called for help, two officials came and Ashiqe was taken to jail hospital.

After Ashique gained consciousness, he saw Vandana sitting beside him in the hospital.

“How are you now?”

“How can someone be after spending over three years in jail and failing to provide justice”

“You didn’t fail Ashique…you didn’t…you are very brave…I will fight for your bail on health grounds. Now please eat the food properly. It is very important for your health”.

Ashique tried to hold his plate and spoon, but his shivering hands were just not being able to hold onto the stuff. Vandana literally had tears in her eyes. As Ashique tries to bring the plate closer to him, it slips out of his shivering hand and crashes onto the floor.



“Your honour… it’s been over 1000 days since Ashique has been in jail. Till today, there has been no further trial, no more investigation and no direct links to any so-called anti-India elements. I even have evidence to show that e-mails were planted. Also, the health of Ashique has deteriorated very much. He should be given bail urgently. The doctor’s report says that he is suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. So, by the time court decides on the matter and bail formalities take place, I would like to request your honour to kindly allow ‘straw and sipper’ to the accused for eating properly,” Vandana closed her arguments.

“Your honour…you know that the anti-national forces are very powerful and deeply rooted. They fight tooth and nail to damage our country. So, that’s why in this case we have not been able to get the links. But, the investigation is going on and we will find the proof. So, I would request the court not to grant him any relief. And, regarding that ‘straw and sipper’, I completely oppose the proposal, as a person involved in such a serious crime, must be faking about his disease and there must be some plan behind it. So, I would oppose it. I too close my arguments, your honour,” Punit Mishra, the government advocate said.

Punit’s arguments left a very dark impression in the courtroom, with everyone left wondering why the government is opposing even a ‘straw and sipper’ demand for someone who is so weak and sick.

It was now time for the verdict.

“After hearing the arguments of both sides, the court is of the opinion that the investigation seems to take time. But, since no direct links have been established with the accused as of now. Also, the very serious allegations of plating e-mails on Ashique’s device question the intentions of very authorities. Taking a look at Ashique’s medical reports which point out to a very serious situation, the court grants him bail till any further hearing or development,” the justice stated.

The whole courtroom went with a round of applause while a “certain section” of people were seen making faces with disappointment.



Vandana had gone mad, out of happiness. She along with a box of sweets, and bail papers was coming to meet Ashique. She gave sweets to every constable she found on her way

Upon reaching Ashique’s cell, she uttered, “A very congratulations Ashi….”

Her eyes and mouth both were left open, as she saw that two officers have covered Ashique’s body with white cloth. They looked at her and moved their heads to say her that Ashique is no more. He died after suffering from a stroke in the morning, just around the time the court pronounced bail.

The box of sweets fell down on the ground from Vandana’s hands, and the laddoos came out of it. Tears rolled down her cheeks looking at the irony of life. She felt extremely loathing against the ASUR and its system.

Ashique only wanted to report the truth of the rape incident with a poor minor girl. But, maybe he undermined the system against which he had to stand up. After all, there is a reason why India ranks 161 out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index. But, little did Ashique know that this realisation would come at the cost of his life.




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