Govt job for Patiala rape victimís sister

Five days after a 18-year-old girl at Badshahpur village in Patiala committed suicide and a month-and-half after she was allegedly gangraped, her elder sister got a call from the tehsil office in Patran on Monday, urging her to accept the job of a peon. This comes on a day when the victim's bhog ceremony was performed.

The girl was cremated on Thursday before her brother, a new recruit in the Army, could reach home.

The sister ó she is the second among the three sisters ó said the family had not asked for a job but punishment for the guilty. Saying that she had studied till higher secondary, the sister, who is 25, added: "We are poor and I could not study beyond that. I am still to open the appointment letter. The job can give us financial help but cannot fill the void left by guriya's death. With police, politicians, media and government officers all around us, we have not even got the time to grieve. It was guriya's bhog today and my younger brother is down with fever. He came back on the night of the cremation but neither speaking nor going out of the."

Earlier, she had worked for a monthly salary of Rs 2,500 at an alternative and innovation education centre for disabled children.

Behind the silence of her brother and father ó a chawkidar at nearby godowns ó is also what many in Badshahpur are saying about the family. The bhog saw the presence of SAD leaders, media, officials and police but not many villagers. The divide between landed farmers and commission agents and landless labourers has now deepened.

While the village sarpanch had earlier blamed the family for demanding more money for reaching a compromise with the accused, some "well-off" neighbours said the victim went willingly with the accused.

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