Nation hails 'justice' meted out in Kathua rape and murder case but sexual assaults continue unabated; 13 cases reported in two weeks

With the court in Pathankot sentencing three convicts to life imprisonment and their three accomplices to five years in jail in connection to the brutal rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl in Kathua (Jammu and Kashmir) in January 2018, many felt that justice was served. However, there are also many who believed that the court was lenient and should have given the "monsters" (dubbed so by social media) capital punishment. But a conviction for rape cases is rare in India.

The fact that the legal system in India does not deter rapists is evident in the number of rapes that were reported by the media after the court pronounced the Kathua verdict.

On Tuesday, less than a day after the sentencing of Sanji Ram and his accomplices in the Kathua rape and murder case, the rape of a 10-year-old girl was reported from Dhaulpur in Rajasthan. Her family found her crying in a secluded area. The perpetrator allegedly picked her up from outside her home while she sleeping and brutally raped her in a secluded area.

 Nation hails  justice meted out in Kathua rape and murder case but sexual assaults continue unabated; 13 cases reported in two weeks

Representational image. Reuters

The same day, a 15-year-old girl was abducted and gang-raped in Uttar Pradesh's Shamli district in Khandrauli village. She was found unconscious in a field.

Horrific reports on the rape and murder of girls came in from Bhopal, Ujjain and Jabalpur last week. In the Bhopal case, the eight-year old's scratched up body was found dumped in a canal, and her neck bore ligature marks.

In Jabalpur district, a few hours after the body of the Bhopal victim was found, a 16-year-old boy raped a four-year-old girl in Barhi village. The teenager had picked up the girl around 12.30 pm while she was playing at her home and forced himself on her in a nearby empty house.

On Friday, a 19-year-old man raped a five-year-old in Ujjain and then bludgeoned her to death. The child used to call him 'uncle'. Her disfigured body was found the same afternoon floating in the Kshipra river.

It would be pertinent to mention that Madhya Pradesh has seen a drastic increase in rape cases over the past few years. According to police data, the number of rapes reported in the state rose from 4,319 in 2015 to 4,882 in 2016 and 5,148 in 2017.

Last week, in Lohardaga district's Chhokta Rabanda village in Jharkhand, two minor boys raped a 12-year-old girl.

A number of incidents were also reported in Uttar Pradesh last week.

In Aligarh, a toddler was strangulated to death after her father failed to repay a loan of Rs 10,000. There have been conflicting reports on whether she was raped. The child's autopsy was inconclusive as her genitalia and hymen could not be found due to putrefaction of the body, which was found in a garbage dump days after she was reported missing.

A 12-year-old girl was dragged from her house and raped by six men in Kushinagar. A teacher raped a 15-year-old girl inside a seminary in Kanpur. The body of a 10-year-old girl was found naked in a field in Hamirpur. In Meerut, a 9-year-old girl was raped and strangled to death and her body dumped in a sewer.

A 20-year-old tribal woman died in a hospital in Rajasthan's Baran district after she was raped and administered a poisonous substance by a youth in Madhya Pradesh.

In Maharashtra's Palghar district, a teenage girl registered a police complaint, claiming that a distant relative had confined her to a room for several days and raped her repeatedly.

In Nagpur, a four-year-old girl was raped by her 25-year-old uncle on Friday. He had committed the crime while "showing her an obscene video".

In 2018, a poll by the Thompson Reuters Foundation had ranked India the most dangerous country in the world for women. "As India's rape epidemic gets worse by the year, critics have pointed fingers at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for not doing enough to protect women," the report had said.

While the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the National Commission for Women had both outright rejected the survey, the slew of rapes mentioned above — all within a span of two weeks — indicates otherwise. If not women, it's the vulnerable children who are made easy targets of such heinous crimes.

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Updated Date: Jun 12, 2019 12:54:34 IST