Details of funds collected by ‘activists’ in the name of Kathua rape victim not available with victim’s family, Shehla Rashid denies charges

Activists in JNU had earlier claimed that funds of Rs 40 lakh have been collected and Rs 10 lakh will be handed over to the victim's immediate family.

As per a report on News18, the family of the Kathua rape victim is forced to sell off their livestock to pay expenses of travelling from Kargil to Pathankot, where a trial court is hearing the matter.

“I had to attend court three to four times. Each time I had to travel, I sold some of my sheep and goat to pay for the expenses,” the father of the victim said but insisted that he will even sell his property without any hesitation if needs be. “I will fight this case till the end,” he said.

As per a report on The Tribune, the family of the victim has also demanded details of the funds collected for them during a campaign run by social activists in January this year. “We have information that lakhs of rupees were collected from different parts of the world by exploiting the incident by some people,” the report quotes the grandfather of the victim as saying before adding, “Those who were in the forefront to ensure justice are now even hesitating to attend our phone calls.”

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“After reaching Samba, we tried our best to get details about the funds collected during the campaign but to no avail due to the evasive attitude of the so-called crusaders,” the report quoted the biological father of the victim, “Those who had promised to provide every possible help to us six months back are pretending to be busy with other ‘important’ work.”

We had earlier reported that a leaked audio tape had emerged which suggested that the huge sum of funds collected in the name of the victims’ family never actually reached them. In the tape, two people are supposedly heard discussing how “huge funds” were collected in the rape victim’s name, which never made its way to the family.

Leftist JNU activist Shehla Rashid had claimed that funds of over 40 lakhs had been collected from donors. She had later also stated that the lawyers are not charging money and hence a sum of rupees 10 lakhs will be handed over to the rape victim’s family.

Media reports had claimed that though lakhs of rupees were collected in the name of helping the family, the funds never reached them. Reports stated that the JNU student union and many online ‘activists’ who had campaigned for the Kathua victim had never bothered to hand over the funds to the victim’s family. Rashid had denied the allegations and later stated that the money was delayed because the family did not have a joint bank account and PAN.

It is notable here that one of the main activists of the campaign, Talib Hussain, was later arrested on rape charges and was sent to jail.

Update: Shehla Rashid, the leftist student leader who was actively involved with the fundraising has denied the Tribune report. In a Twitter thread, she has asserted that the report is false and that she had met the family personally and none of them had any complaints.

The journalist who reported the story has, however, stood by his report. He has asserted that he has a recording of the conversation with the family of the victim.

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