This annual celebration, since its inception in 2013, has played a pivotal role in boosting tourism in the North Eastern states.
A teenage girl in Delhi was repeatedly sexually abused by a senior government official. The girl was given drugs before each assault and woke up with injuries once. She was also depressed after her father’s non-Covid death in 2020. The first rape happened shortly after her father’s death when she was sent to the official’s home by her mother who believed she’d be safe there.
The girl disclosed that she was molested by the official in a church and at his home. She suffered panic attacks due to her father’s death and the abuse, which prevented her from seeking help. The abuse came to light when she talked to a counsellor during treatment for panic attacks. She continues to receive therapy to recover from the assaults.
The accused official, Khakha, has been suspended and arrested, but he denies the allegations. His wife was also arrested for providing abortion pills to the victim. Khakha’s suspension and arrest followed criticism from Delhi’s Chief Minister and a women’s commission leader.
According to information from the police, the teenager was sexually assaulted again while staying in Burari for five months, this time in February 2021. After that, a month later, she travelled to Jharkhand for a family event and did not go back to Khakha’s house.
In her statement given to the police, the girl mentioned that Khakha used to sexually harass her both at the church and at his residence.
The police report that the teenage girl, now in Class XII, experienced frequent panic attacks following her father’s passing. These attacks led her to leave school after Class IX and join an open learning program. Police sources suggest that the combined trauma of her father’s death and the assaults prevented her from seeking help regarding the sexual abuse by Premoday Khakha.
The incidents involving the girl came to light recently when she talked to a counsellor at a Delhi hospital where she was undergoing treatment for another bout of panic attacks. Her mother had rushed her to the hospital.
The girl has been receiving ongoing therapy to aid her recovery from the repeated sexual assaults she endured from her father’s ‘friend’—someone she referred to as ‘mama’ (uncle).
Khakha, who was suspended from his role in the Delhi government’s Women and Child Development Department and subsequently arrested, is not cooperating with the authorities, according to police sources. He strongly denies the allegations, asserting they are entirely untrue.
Apart from Khakha, the Delhi Police also apprehended Seema Khakha, his wife. She allegedly had their 21-year-old son obtain abortion pills for the teen after she became pregnant. The young girl had sought help from Khakha’s wife.
Khakha’s suspension and arrest were made public after criticism from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party. They criticized the Delhi Police, which falls under the control of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government, for the delay in taking action against him.