I meet my friends in Thrissur on Sundays and holidays. Last week when I took two days off from work for the holy weekend, I met my friend Lijo and we spent sometime in the town. While we were coming back Lijo pointed at a woman walking on the footpath. It was almost 10 at night. It was just another beggar or gypsy woman that you wouldn’t even care to notice.

Do you know what can happen to that woman in another two hours or so?” Lijo asked me.

What, do you mean to say she can be a prostitute and her customers would come to pick her up?

In a way, yes. But it would be more like kidnapping than ‘picking’.

These customers are usually local goondas (thugs) and wouldn’t pay her even a penny for the ‘work‘. These people come as a group, take her, use her and dump her. It is not always the goondas. Sometimes its middle aged men, older men or young men, wealthy men or day-light gentlemen – Age, financial status and social status do not matter.

Same is the case when they choose the victims as well. Age doesn’t matter. A little girl (aged around 7 or 11 I guess) of a gypsy family was kidnapped in the middle of the night when she was sleeping with her family in the roadside. The father woke up after a while and found the girl was missing, but they had no one to complain. Later in the morning, someone found out the girl from a nearby lonely place. The little girl was brutally raped and she couldn’t stand straight at the time she was found. The police is still searching for the culprit.

An old lady, who died sometimes back, used to tell a friend in town the stories of how some men approached her while she was sleeping in the roadside. The poor lady had to accompany her mentally retarded son throughout the town and had to resort on the roadside at nights. I think she was more than 60 yrs old when she told this story.

A beggar woman was found lying in her own blood in a bus-stand one day. The bus drivers who came to the bus-stand in the morning took her to the hospital. Doctors said there must have been more than 10 men raped her and the woman did not have any count or lost count.

Who is bothered about them and who is going to raise their voices against such issues? I haven’t seen any known feminist organizations talking about this. Perhaps these women are not beneficial for them. The police force has to act properly and strengthen their night-time patrolling to prevent such incidents. They have to make sure that the night life in our towns do not belong to such criminals.

Until that happens, we will hear more such stories of face-less victims of crime in our towns. And we will never know how horrible it is until we think ‘What if it was me and my family in their place?

Cross posted here