On 25 August, a ten-year-old deaf girl was kidnapped, raped and murdered in Haryana’s Palwal district. Her mother, sister and brother are also deaf. The Times of India reported that when her family tried to register a complaint with the police, they were turned away. Crimes against deaf and mute people, particularly sexual crimes against deaf and mute children, are common in India. In the past year alone, such cases have been reported in Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir, among many others. Deaf and signing activists argue that the government’s failure in providing easy access to specialised teaching techniques for deaf and mute people keeps them unable to communicate effectively and stop such crimes. Saudamini Pethe, a law student and activist for the deaf community, who is Deaf herself, writes an open letter to the minor who was murdered in Haryana.
My dearest deaf daughter,
I am left with nothing but a feeling of helpless anger and an abyss of sadness, due to the cruel incident of rape and murder of an innocent soul such as yours.