The father of the Kathua rape victim has been duped of the money that was donated to him, India Today has reported. The money has been syphoned off his bank account by anonymous people, the father claims.
“Someone has withdrawn more than Rs 10 lakh from our joint account. We have no information about it. The statement shows consistent withdrawal and we are only left with Rs 35,000 in the account. We were told over Rs 1 crore had been donated from all over the world, but don’t know where it went,” he said.
Over Rs. 10 lakh had been debited within three months but not by the person to whom the account belonged. One Aslam Khan had withdrawn Rs 2 lakh on January 11, 14, 15, and 18. Transactions took place on January 21 and 22 as well according to the passbook and Rs 4 lakh was withdrawn.
According to the report, the Bank where the account was opened claims that the money was withdrawn through signed and dated cheques, so there was little they could do to refuse. “Bank received the cheques with proper dates and impression. The family can block the cheque book, till further notice. Someone within their known circle has had access to all details and ensured bank protocol was followed,” said the branch head of J&K Bank.
The leaders who had flocked to him initially are nowhere to be found. “I do not know where those leaders are? Initially many came and helped. They did not approach me recently,” the father said.
In November last year, it was reported that the family was forced to sell off their livestock to pay expenses of travelling from Kargil to Pathankot, where a trial court is hearing the case. The family of the victim had also demanded details of the funds collected for them during a campaign run by social activists in January. “We have information that lakhs of rupees were collected from different parts of the world by exploiting the incident by some people,” the grandfather of the victim had said, “Those who were in the forefront to ensure justice are now even hesitating to attend our phone calls.”
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. Later, Rashid had denied the media report which quoted the grandfather of the victim and claimed that she had met the family personally and none of them had any complaints.
One of the main activists of the campaign, Talib Hussain, was later arrested on rape charges and was sent to jail. He has since then joined Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP. Shehla Rashid, too, has taken the plunge to join politics with the former IAS officer who called India ‘Rapistan’.