On Murthal

by Meha Khanduri

This article nearly never got written because as I start to write on the issue I start seeing red. When India was raptly watching students of a prestigious university go through a long drama of whether slogan shouting students had committed sedition or not…rampaging mobs were burning, looting, and ransacking the cities of Haryana, right next door to the capital Delhi. Nobody was really outraged, no resignations were called for, no charges of sedition were made and after nearly two days of looting and burning worth 34000 crores, the government cordially accepted the demands of the rampaging mobs and the burning and looting came to an end.  An amicable solution all around..except for criminality and couple of thousand crores of national property but …..this is India!

Four days later some ghost stories started floating around. The whispers said that not only Haryana’s cities had been burnt and ransacked; women commuters had been raped too on the highways. The police however assured us that these were all rumors being spread by nasty people. However they refused to die. Soon a newspaper, The Tribune, did a story on how women travellers coming to Delhi were dragged out of their cars by mobs on a National Highway 1 at Murthal in Sonepat district of Haryana and gang raped by mobs. That the paper reported this happened only about 2 hours from Delhi, near a very popular eating spot, made it more shocking. But the Haryana government and the police breezily denied these, ignoring that the newspaper was an established one, and not given to salacious stories.

Well, the newspaper stuck to its guns quoting eyewitnesses. Initially three eyewitnesses—Hari Krishan of Kurad, Zile Singh of Hassanpur and Amrik Singh—came forward, saying women were sexually assaulted. Eyewitness Niranjan Singh told The Sunday Standard: “I saw these men chasing women in the fields, and assaulting and tearing off their clothes.’’ The Tribune report also mentioned the raped women were met by the police and instead of being taken to a hospital for examination, they were advised paternally by the policemen and the district administration to not file a complaint and go home. The police even dropped many home solicitously, instead of taking them to a hospital or filing an FIR.

In the fields where nothing had happened, torn bras, panties and various undergarments of women were found strewn about. The police collected them and sent them for forensic examination. But nobody was still outraged –perhaps the women themselves were struck by a sudden urge to become nude while travelling through. No minister thought it worth his or her while to comment on such trivial issues. But the courts for once woke up, took suo moto cognizance of the report and ordered an inquiry. That gave some faint hope to the horrified citizens following the story.

In response to the court inquiry, the local Police issued casual notices saying if women had been gang raped could they please come up and contact the police? No mention was made of the policemen who were supposed to have pressed the women not to press charges. No effort was made to find out the cars, which had passed through the tollgates. No Indian woman was surprised when not a single woman came to volunteer about her gang rape. To add insult to injury the number of the lady DIG given to contact was wrong and belonged to a resident of Indore. The New Indian Express, a reputed newspaper quoted a senior police official as saying that: “there is too much political pressure to play down the incident.”

But the unkindest cut for the women of India was saved for the last. As the Parliament met for the budget session there was hope that all the national representatives at the highest level would be outraged by this incident. The opposition would clamor and the government would be forced to take stern measures against the criminals and those shielding the,. The opposition did outrage, the government especially a woman minister did indulge in splendid melodramatics but not for the women of India. For two days the Indian Parliament was in furore over demon worship and the honor of the mythical goddess Durga.


I can’t think of any civilized country in which such a thing would happen. At that point I realized a very important thing:  This is what the worth of a woman in India. NOTHING. Don’t get fooled by the glitzy ads showing beautifully groomed career women who are also empowered at home. Don’t be fooled by the number of women in the Parliament or careers. Don’t be fooled by the tall promises made after the Nirbhaya rape. All women are in India are pieces of property, meant to protect the honor of the man, the family, the country. To expect respect as a normal human being, as an equal citizen deserving equal rights is futile. I’ve given up. Just hope that you can be a goddess someday, from the flesh and blood human you are.

PS: Till the time of this article going for publication two victims have come forwarded and narrated their ordeal of being gang-raped along with many other women. They are mothers and wives and young women and teenagers. They say that they ” were advised by the officials there not to report the matter for the sake of honour, because what has happened could not be undone,”  and are terrified of going to a police which wants to bury the incident. However the eyewitnesses have now turned hostile. News of the Murthal rapes has completely vanished from the national media. All is well in India.


[Pic Credit: ABP News] 

Meha Khanduri is an alum from Columbia University, New York and works on issues of human rights and conflict in India. 

91 Comments Add yours

  1. Amit says:

    These are times when my love for my country is shaken and more so I feel ashamed of being a man.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ruchi Mishra says:

    Really a shame on o’s and our hypocrite media. ..so irresponsible to not to make it an important news and flat it every hour…shame on our system which is giving right to some in gvt jobs/education system. …and not bothered for basic right to freedom and security. ..really shame
    …Of course no reason to celebrate women’s day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Umesh says:

    This is absolutely outrageous if the story has any merits.. The whole concept of destroying government properties and mobs attacking civilians is something that happens only in India without any punishment. Can we not create a private website where women who suffered can come forward and share the truth. Also Meha can you pls do an article how the Indian men and women are suffering because of false dowry cases 498a in India where scorny behaviour of one woman destroys an entire family.


  4. Reblogged this on Just A Thought and commented:
    This is hardly surprising. And just as painful as all the other news and articles about similar issues we have read, and will continue to read. Because, we have no time to fix these issues. No time to deliver justice to those who have been wronged for now fault of theirs. Our calendars are full, you see. Dealing with non-issues and faux-causes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rajas says:

    This is a very pathetic situation.There is no security for the women,something needs to be done very fast.strict action needs to be taken against people found guilty.


  6. chakraborty says:

    this is the tragedy of india ! when i was talking to myfriends they just didnt accept wht i was trying to tell them … women undergarments dont get thrown around just like that !! msomething terrible had happened …. many of them agree but just close their eyes


  7. Gagandeep kaur says:

    This is so bad…i wonder why we can’t do much about all this…. we can write articles… post videos… bring awareness but these things just keep rising… the graph never falls down . It’s dissappointing


  8. The worst bit is that I’m not surprised at all 😦


  9. khushi says:

    sheer mockery of the system


  10. JP Singh says:

    They have behaved like a backward class – thought Jats were honourable people. Its their honour that lies in the fields of Murthal. I am happy that you have declared yourself backward and I do hope you wallow in your backwardness. You will never rise from your backwardness. Your next step should be to ask for being the Barbarian Class. Wah JAT you have lost it all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ashok Vashisht says:

      They were “honourable people” but over the years with the quick money from sale of land in the NCR region and various other factors they are in the grip of vices and far removed from an honourable life and such values. Vice and muscle power rule and language has totally degenerated to use to excessive expletives !

      Liked by 2 people

      1. akshay says:

        you are getting somewhere,… can you please elaborate? i don’t mean to emphasize the blaming part,.. but i feel the way power changes hands has a lot to do with how the hands use it!


  11. I really wish if a law is passed where the rapist or even the teasers r tied up with a pole or tree and is stoned till death. People who have no respect for women should be ashamed of being called a human. On man can not change the system for this all of us need to take an initiative to change this male dominance. Infact I also think our laws are week. Strict laws to be implemented . let’s hope for the better days.to come

    Liked by 1 person

  12. shrutipandit says:

    Very well written. We DO waste time on mundane issues, while important ones take a back seat

    Liked by 1 person

  13. CA Gaurav Rustagi says:

    It seems true incident but very unfortunate no action taken in this regard


  14. Ganesh iyer says:

    People react fast …they become goverenment themselves….media go on showing clips…same 7 torn ugs…then starts tweets….horrible……but they keep quite when JNU becomes anti national…
    Well wait for time….it will be proved that it was publicity of some people….we are haryanvis…we know it can never happen in Haryana.


  15. Harsharankaur says:

    What happened to beti bachao


  16. Lalita Dahiya says:

    You may have to understand few things first.

    First- Media who few days ago reported that “the famous dhaba” was burned was not burned at all . in fact it was a shelter for the travelers. ( stated by the dhaba itself on fb). News report later says that the victims were taken to the dhaba to their family post rape and asked not to take it forward. So did people raped them and then dropped them to the dhaba which is apparently burned.

    Second- if this was happening , instead of being surprised of this topic not discussed in Parliament, I will be surprised that people saw them running without shoes and passport but didn’t bother to alert others and help the women.

    Third- There is only one women who came forward and said her 15 year old daughter was not harmed but she was raped by her brother in law and six others.

    Fourth- If this is the real picture of bra found, I want to ask who wore that dancing blingy satin bra?

    Lalita Dahiya
    Born and brought up in rohtak haryana.don’t reside in India anymore. But want to point out one thing, I have never been Eve teased or touched inappropriately in my state. Experienced countless times outside my state .


    1. Ashok Vashisht says:

      True. Whatever it is it should be the truth and only the truth. But if JAT’s were so considerate why the south Haryana burnt on those days ? Is that something wise and considerate to destroy the properties of Non JAT’s ? Also JAT’s in Haryana had de-facto reservation from the JAT politicians over the last 3-4 decades resulting in them cornering the most lucrative Govt jobs. This was done at the expensive of merit and other communities were left out. Let the complete truth be told …not only something which suits your community ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gaurav says:

        That’s a great reply, again with more speculation and conjecture than facts.

        (1) We believe that the state has a monopoly over violence. Why again, didn’t the Khattar government stop the violence instead of blaming on a mob and prevent destruction of property? What action did Mr. Khattar take against Mr. Saini who called a community the sons of pigs?

        (1) Where are the two women who were raped? Can the author of the article or Mr. Vashisht care to share the news articles? I am genuinely curious.

        (2) “Also JAT’s in Haryana had de-facto reservation from the JAT politicians over the last 3-4 decades resulting in them cornering the most lucrative Govt jobs.” Well the State Backward Commission (01 report, 07 report) thinks that’s certainly not the case. Jat’s proportion in govt jobs, specifically in Class I and Class II services is MUCH lower than their proportion of the population. In fact, I can make the argument to the contrary: Brahmins have 5% of population share and have “cornered” 23% of Central government jobs thanks to the patronage of the Congress Party. Do you have any facts to support your argument?

        Or are you blinded with visceral hatred that does not see beyond casteist lens and does not have a fact base to support?


    2. Lalita Dahiya says:

      Protest was there for quite few days before the violence occurred. I am not here to play blame game but something triggered it for sure. It was not only non-jat community which was harmed and properties were burned and robbed. Many jat shops were also damaged. And many just picked up there items from the shop before it could burn or robbed. So if media showed you 20 shops robbed and burned. 10 were from jat community as well. And about 80% of shops were not robbed, owners just removed there stuff from there. ( how do I know this, I have a family living in rohtak and witnessed it).
      Politicians are politicians. Jat or non- jat never made any difference. How good the politician is that matters.

      Reservation in general is a socital poison. We allow govt long time back to make reservations on the basis of caste. It should not be in the systen at all but if it is then it should be given who need it. You should go to the village and see if there is any school and if there is any, is there a teacher who can motivate kids or even teach them.
      Govt is not able to provide education or job or security.we love to buy things from malls because they must be clean or organic, why dont we try and support them. We want to have amul milk, fatfree or flavoured, why dont we buy milk from them.
      We as a fellow citizen are not ready to help them and want govt to fix everything.

      If this is the toy which can help jat (I am talking about farmers) , we need that reservation toy really bad before commit more suicide and leave our families behind to struggle.

      I am married to a non jat, so my community is jat and non jat.


    3. Random Citizen says:

      Lalita Dahiya,
      You may need to understand few things:

      First) Eyewitness mentioned a crowed came who took the woman including mothers with their daughter from their cars. Check your uncle’s shop. Not a single Jaat lost anything in the riot. Non-jaat shops were targeted.

      Second) No one was surprised, your cousins were enjoying the show. They were among the mob who wanted to have reservation otherwise they will rape our women. (but don’t worry, you are safe. You were never molested in Haryana but in rest of India so you left the country and you are absolutely safe now.)

      Fourth) It might be your cousin or sister in law who was wearing it but never bothered to share with you, and you know why? Because it is none of your f*** business what they wear.

      Grow up, open your eyes. You might be in Europe, America or elsewhere but I bet you still have your sick rude mentality. Check with your neighbours, they are still afraid of you.


      1. Lalita Dahiya says:

        As I said I am not here to play blame game. As far as what my cousins are doing. They are protecting you at the border and 6 of them are from my family. I think you need to grow up and learn how to write since what you have replied to my comment doesn’t make any sense, “RANDOM CITIZEN “.


  17. Ritika Singh says:

    Meha, I have so much regard for you, to have taken this initiative and penning down your thoughts and sharing the plain brutal truth. I cannot agree more with each and every word written by you and I’m so glad that at least some people, some of us have the real balls to say it out loud. Not like the rest of them who only have those metaphorical balls!

    Keep it up and bravo! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Gursimran says:

    Bharat Mata ki Jai….Pun intended!


  19. KA says:

    The only problem is..we don’t know if it really happened..How do you know if the police dropped them home? These girls have not even come forward to speak about it..I think people like you are a disgrace since you are using a “we don’t know if it’s true” situation to accuse the govt.. PLEASE SHUT UP . Sincerely, A woman.


    1. There is a saying in Tamil which when translated goes like this – “A woman’s enemy is another woman”.


  20. Divya kumar says:

    Sad to hear all this
    Parliament is full of people giving importance to themselves rather than taking this issue of plight of women


  21. dexter says:

    Alas! Humanity is dead.

    1. Feeling doomed to be part of a nation …
    whose humane values have touched nadir …
    INDIA… Bharatmata…… kahana ho aap…
    Where are all those god’ and goddesses……
    The wrecked soul is calling u…….!!!!

    2. First of all …. feeling ashamed and appalled too.

    3. I am myself a men…..
    but what these bastards have done…
    There fuckin deed …
    DESERVE only one fucking thing…….
    Plz chop there….. instrument ….
    which fuckin hang for any fuckin anything …
    Before summoning them to death

    4. I m too rude
    With language…. plz pardon me … EDITOR


  22. Subhajit says:

    Instead of backward caste status, those people should be given criminally retarded caste status.


  23. puneet says:

    Ma’am you are right. this is a country of fools. when women of influential are protected, what is the need for protection of commoners . Ma’am thought i cannot change the mentality of masses but we can try to change ourselves. it’s disgusting that we talk of india, money and world but donot talk about morality which is dying.


  24. swasti sharma says:

    It is really shocking and shameful event.Drastic mindset has to be implemented.And we as women had to raise voice with more determination.


  25. Ashutosh says:

    Is it just me or are people really scared to even share this? It has been 6 days and not a single comment? This article caught my attention. But I doubt if there is any hope left for us. You can’t count the number of ongoing crimes in India right now; while I am writing this, or you are reading this. I give up.


  26. The media really picks and chooses what it wants. When one student hangs himself in Hyderabad, everyone converges there and is covered day after day, like the world is going to end. When three girls, who had tried to fight for justice for months, are murdered in Tamil Nadu, no coverage. When a Dalit boy is forced to drink petrol and is burnt alive in Pune, no coverage. When a student in Kannur is hacked right in front of his aged parents, no coverage. The media goes by what suits their own political and non-political masters the best.


  27. manoj says:



  28. Ashok Vashisht says:

    In the midst of the outrage which we all feel and must feel I suggest to spare a moment to think that do we educated middle and upper middle class influence politics and ensure voting to the right man/woman (lets find them ) . It is important that we vote 100% and it’s time we influence politics for the better of India. Till then let Indian’s wage war and riot….. 😦


  29. striking says:

    this is an indication to a situation which is more than horrible ! Perhaps not Human’s but Humanity’s End is Near


  30. YOGESH SINGH says:



  31. Supriya Talwar says:

    Absolutely spot on.
    No Indian woman will come forward to speak about this incident easily.
    Makes me ashamed of this country, it’s citizens and government.


  32. PC says:

    The problem is police department reports to state / central government. They should be reporting to politically neutral individuals such as Governors of states and President. All entities handling with law and order should not be under political party influences so that actual law and order prevails and nobody is above it.


  33. Nikhil says:

    The Khattarji government has no reason to suppress the events. It stands only to gain by consolidation of votes against Jats..It came to power for the first time ever in the state based on non jat votes.
    Rage is an industry, and we should atleast pay some . Please keep in mind Ishrat Jahan. If a terrorist was made a national hero by national level leadership, I have no doubt they can use rape allegation for character assassination of a community.


  34. Chaitali Ganu says:

    its shocking and many questions raised in my mind….


  35. debooWORKS says:

    Reblogged this on debooWORKS and commented:


  36. debooWORKS says:

    I’m glad I read this.


  37. Rahul Joshi says:

    Last para first line- ‘Two victims have come forwarded?’. Although its off topic, I hope you proofread the articles and then share them. I think if there are such glaring grammatical mistakes in your article( which reflects the sloppiness on your part), it will become difficult for people to believe the incidents which you have mentioned in the article( since they require an in-depth research and a fastidious attitude). Lastly, I hope the truth comes out and the culprits, if any, are punished.



  38. Poltergeist says:

    32 thousand crores Indian rupeess had been lost shops, malls even banks were plundered life become lifeless, women empowerement become a distant dream since they were powered by hooligans they were raped in the day sunlight ,countrys image had been fragmented into pieces like the raped women clothes. There was a place called Haryana i am talkng about.Tragedy does not end here real tragedy starts from here ordinary man, ordinary words quite understandbly makes an extra ordinary speech before a friendly crowd he is surely a leader material he really sends across the mesaage of Indianess impeccably . Now the great indian media tamsha begins ,fully exploitaing the typical Indian mentality that is bhed chaal.The land of Lord Krishna suddenly becomes the land of kanahiiyaa !!!! whyyyy all that is left that kanhaiyya should be provided a flute as well by these media houses inorder to satiate their egos and their fight within thier industry Arnab Goswami suddenly becomes tacit and ndtv becomes boisterous not surprisingly but suddenly and we indians are a mere watchers . The problem is we Indians dont priortize what to watch and what not to watch . ALL I WANT TO SAY IS HARAYANA IS A MUCH BIGGER ISSUE DONT LET IT BE IGNORED bhed chall can be avoided.


  39. Thank you for this incisive write-up. Our country is burning and if we do not act in unison there will be nothing left. The current government and it’s supporters want to polarize India into a radical Hindu faction and denounce liberals and intellectuals and anti-national. The rest (Congress, AAP, Communist parties et al) are trying to gain political mileage from any and everything in this country.
    Sadly, I can clearly see telltale signs of the polarization that will drive our country straight into a brick wall.


  40. Abhishek says:

    But then, isn’t rape common and a natural consequence of our patriarchical society and cultural values? Such news and complaints are usually diacouraged.


  41. Rakesh Bhat says:

    Very sad to know ..
    wish our judicial system had more sense


  42. Kapil Mehra says:

    This shd be investigated n punish the guilty with quick judgement


  43. aditi ghose says:

    I am sad that i am a woman and ashamed that i am an indian


  44. arijit says:

    we are fucking helpless citizens…for sometime we surely will fume over it and then will forget. I think this is the harsh reality..until something happens to our near ones we fail to react properly


  45. Bonku says:

    Haryana is the only state, probably in the whole damn World, where there is NO rape case reported, happened. I came to know about that great achievement (by any standard), from Amir Khan’s show- http://www.satyamevjayate.in/fighting-rape.aspx That great example of “Incredible India” should be the tag line for our tourism and we can beat ANY country in the world. All these rumours are to defame BJP and Haryana Govt- simple. Now go back to your bed and enjoy…. “Incredible India”


  46. Billy says:

    To be honest, I think indian women are useless. I’m a white guy from a foreign country and have had a few relationships with Indian women and they really suck in bed. So while I also think that indian men are retarded idiots, I do understand the sexual frustration of the average indian male because indian women are incapable of satisfying them sexually.

    India is a sexual shithole and this is why people are so crazy in India. The legalization of prostitution would do a lot to help the situation because at least then a lot of those men would have an outlet, and it would also help to lower the stigmas about sex, which would liberate a lot of the women to be more open about sex as well.

    Sexual repression is what led to the current state of affairs. Until you indians stop being so damn sexually repressed, this kind of shit will keep happening.


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