New Delhi/ Greater Noida: A pistol shot each to her chest and stomach and 30-foot drop onto the stony bed of a dry well. The trio thought they were done with the girl. They had kidnap her in a car from the end of the lane outside her West Delhi house on November 22. For a fortnight, they had raped her inside an abandoned farmhouse in a Greater Noida village. And now her body disseat in the well. It might be days before the villagers discovered it by the stench.
But Poonam (name changed) did not die on Saturday night. Police say her light build reduced the impact of the fall, the residents of Tughalpur Village, where the well is situated, say her willpower kept her alive. When she was sure the men had driven away, she cried out for help. She kept it up all night in the hope that a passer-by would rescue her.
Out in the open field the December night turned cold and the 15-year-old didn’t have warm clothing on. She had lost a lot of blood too. By morning, her cries rose faintly from the well but a youth heard them and informed Babbal Bhati, son of the landlord Dheera Bhati.
Greater Noida police were informed at 8.40am and the villagers, meanwhile, pulled her out and rushed her to hospital.
“She was covered in blood and crying when we pulled her out with a rope. We took her to a private hospital nearby on a motorbike,” said Babbal. Her attendants lost hope seeing her condition and doctors at the hospital couldn’t believe she had survived two bullet wounds overnight.
Poonam was in a critical condition but she retained willpower long enough to tell police what had happened, and all three accused two of them are minors and cannot be named were rounded up.
Police say Poonam had known the main condemned, Krishan, for a few months. They had met at her uncle’s grocery and he had helped her tie up with a local dairy for milk. On November 22, the girl stepped out around 5pm to buy a SIM card for a mobile phone she had borrowed from her uncle.
Her cousin saw her walking along with a youth to a car at the end of their lane, and when Poonam did not return for several hours the family registered a case of kidnapping that night.
Poonam told police the youth was Krishan and he had forced her inside his car. The two minors were also inside and they drove towards Noida, threatening to harm her if she raised an alarm. She remembers being brought to the farmhouse near Salempur Gurjar village, which is about 30km from Tughalpur, but cannot describe it in detail.
Krishan and the others raped her at the farmhouse and then went away locking up the main gate. In their absence, she shouted for help but nobody came as the farmhouse is in a secluded place. Every time the trio brought her food, they raped her. On Saturday evening, they dragged her into Krishan’s car promising to take her home, but stopped near the well at Tughalpur for a drink.
Poonam tried to run away but Krishan saw her. He caught her, thrashed her and then shot at her twice. Greater Noida police station in-charge Laxmi Chauhan said Poonam was shot at from close range with a .12-bore pistol. “But the bullets didn’t damage her vital organs.”
Doctors told TOI on Monday Poonam was operated upon and her condition is critical.