Ajmer 92 is a heartbreaking tale of a crime against girls and young women in our country. It is based on the 1992 Ajmer Rape case where numerous school and college girls were lured by members of a notorious gang, who raped and blackmailed them. It is one of the most gut-wrenching cases that the country has ever witnessed. It highlights how women were easy prey for a group of men who specifically targeted young school girls and college-going girls. Further, the social, financial, and political clout of the accused made it difficult for the girls to report the abuse.
Here are some of the details of this gruesome but forgotten incident in Ajmer.
The 1992 Ajmer Rape case came to light in 1992. It was found that these girls were taken to remote areas where they were gang raped by influential people. Then the predators would click obscene photos of these girls and later threaten and blackmail them through these photos. A local photo color lab that used to print these nude photographs also circulated them, further perpetuating the abuse.
Dainik Navjyoti, a local newspaper exposed the Ajmer 1992 Rape case in detail. It also shared a few blurred pictures of the unclothed victims that were used to blackmail them. This led to a massive public outrage and people took to protest on the streets, demanding justice. This got the local authorities on their feet who arrested the culprits.
It all started when one accused befriended a girl from Sophia Senior Secondary School in Ajmer. He then lured her to a remote farmhouse to rape and click compromising photos of her. Then the entire gang would blackmail the victim using their photos. They forced the victim to introduce them to other girls. The investigation revealed that the culprits operated in a very channeled way, finding their next target from the current one. And they used the same tactics to rape several girls until 1992.
The police investigations also revealed that the young men who committed these crimes were led by Farooq and Nafis Chisty. They belonged to the reputed Khadim Family responsible for taking care of and maintaining the Ajmer Dargah Shrine. Besides, they were also members of the Indian National Congress. Many have pointed out that the political and financial clout of the accused was one of the reasons that the administration was slow to act in this case.
A total of 18 people have been accused in the 1992 Ajmer Rape Case, though many believe that the actual number of people involved might have been even higher. However, over the years, the accused either fled, died, served minimal imprisonments, or were acquitted. Many of the girls were unwilling to report the abuse fearing further ordeal and shame from society. Several witnesses identified by the police turned hostile over the course of the trial making convictions further difficult.
Omendra Bhardwaj, Deputy Inspector General of Police in Ajmer in 1992, stated that it was not easy to convince the girls to come forward and file a case against the accused as the criminals belong to socially and financially influential families.
Supreme Court statement also verified that victims did not want to testify in court and reveal their identity. According to the statement, the girls refused to identify and take legal action against the accused. They feared that their own image would be tarnished. It would harm them and their families negatively.
Their fears were not completely untrue. The girls faced harassment and threats from the accused and the local dailies. The families of these girls also suffered at the hands of the perpetrators of the crime and the society. Several families whose daughters were a victim of this heinous crime left Ajmer in the wake of the uproar. The police investigations also revealed that about 6 victims allegedly committed suicide.
Reports reveal that people were unwilling to accept girls from Ajmer as brides after the news of this incident spread all over the city. Reporters working in the local newspapers of Ajmer reveal several instances of the families of grooms trying to verify with them if the girl they chose for marriage was one of those exploited in the 1992 Ajmer Rape Case.
In an interview with the Indian Express, the Joint Secretary of the Anjuman Committee which oversees the Dargah remarked this case to be one of the most disgusting and horrible crimes that destroyed the city’s goodwill forever.
Kerala Story is another hard-hitting movie that centered around how naive college-going girls were lured into joining ISIS military camp. It was released in May this year in theaters. You can also read the The Real Story of the Movie: The Kerala Story
Ajmer 92 has Karan Verma, Sumit Singh, Sayaji Shinde, and Manoj Joshi in central roles and is produced by Reliance Entertainment. The poster of the film was released recently by the makers on Twitter and Instagram. It shows headlines of newspapers that covered this horrific event of 1992.
Though the film poster promises to reveal the truth about the 1992 Ajmer Rape Case, we can only know if it accurately covers the scandal upon its release on 14th July 2023. Meanwhile, we should appreciate the filmmaker’s bold attempt to pick up a hard-hitting topic that questions women’s safety in our country.