Friday, November 28, India woke up to the news of one of the most brutal and barbaric gangrape case in a long long time. A 26-year-old doctor in Hyderabad was raped by four men, suffocated to death and had her body burnt and disposed under a bridge on NH24 in the outskirts of the city. This barbaric act on the ill-fated night of Thursday triggered major protests and agitation across the country. While some demanded death penalty for the accused, others asked the government to hand the accused to the public.
This is, however, not the first time that such an incident has happened. This is also not the first time that the public, in general, have reacted the way they have. Everyone would remember the infamous Nirbhaya gangrape case which happened in Delhi. It united the mass public against the heinous crimes committed by corrupt minded people. Everyone wants stringent action against rape accused. And rightly so. But there is a stark similarity in the way this nation reacted after Nirbhaya and Hyderabad doctor's rape and murder. But has anything changed? Let us take a look at some telling numbers.
Over 100 women in India get raped every day
Despite all the protests, all the agitations, the rape incidents in our country have not stopped. If at all, they have increased. In 2017, over 32,000 rape incidents were reported in India. As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), in 2016, almost 39000 cases of rape were reported. It is safe to say that despite all the protests, agitations and stringent laws, over 100 women in India get raped every day. R^ather than going too far back, let us a take a look at some rape cases that made headlines in 2019.
Ongole, June 23: 16-year-old girl gang-raped by 6 men for 5 days
A 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped for five days by six persons, including three minors, after being locked up in a room in Ongole town of Andhra Pradesh. The girl, who belonged to the neighbouring Guntur district, escaped from their clutches and reached the bus station when an on-duty home-guard Venkateswarlu and Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Babu Rao spotted and rescued her.
Sagar, March 19: 12-year-old girl raped, beheaded by brothers
The Class 6 student went missing on March 13 and her body was found mutilated next day in an agricultural field outside Berkhedi village of the district. The police initially declared a reward of Rs 10,000, which was increased to Rs 25,000 for information regarding the accused.
Aligarh, June 23: 4-year-old girl raped after being lured by Rs 10 note
The accused lured the girl with a Rs10 note and took her away to a secluded spot and raped her. The girl was later found in critical condition by her family members. The incident came soon after the murder of a two-year-old in the same city sent shockwaves across the country.
Unnao, June 22: 11-year-old raped in Unnao, murdered by hammering with bricks
The girl, who was sleeping outside her house, was found missing when her father woke up in the middle of the night. "Initially, I thought that she might have gone to nearby fields to answer nature's call. However, when she did not return for long, I along with my family and neighbours launched a search and found my daughter's body lying in an orchard. Her head was badly crushed with bricks," he said.
Dehradun, June 22: 3-year-old raped by 11-year-old neighbour
A three-year-old girl was raped by her 11-year-old neighbour in Dalanwala area of the city. The incident took place when the girl's parents had gone out leaving her at home with her two elder siblings.
Noida, July 19: 9 men rape three Delhi sex workers at Noida farmhouse
Three sex workers were raped by nine men at a farmhouse in Noida after they were picked up from Delhi. Most of the accused were private security guards, while one was a cab driver. Seven of the accused were arrested after the matter was reported to police around 5 am.
Warangal, June 19: 9-month-old girl raped
The 28-year old accused, identified as Praveen of the same locality, had taken away the baby to a nearby secluded place in the wee hours while she was asleep alongside her parents on the terrace of their house and sexually assaulted her.
Tonk, Rajasthan, December 01: 6-year-old girl raped, strangled to death with school belt
Another brutal case of rape emerged in Rajasthan's Tonk district. A 6-year-old girl was found allegedly raped and strangled to death with her own school belt on Sunday. The girl had gone missing on Saturday after a complaint was registered, her body was recovered from bushes in a remote area near her village Khetadi. Liquor bottles, snacks and bloodstains were also found at the spot.
Sangrur, May 29: 4-year-old raped, school principal among 3 accused
A 4-year old was raped in a prep school in Sangrur. Among the 3 accused who were arrested by the Police, the principal of the school was also held. “The police have arrested the three accused for trying to hush up the matter by not informing police about the incident despite being aware of it. Police are also probing the role of other management members,” said senior superintendent of police (SSP) Sandeep Garg.
Jalore, Rajasthan, December 02: Rajasthan girl chained, tortured by her father, alleges rape
In a shocking case, a 17-year-old girl in Rajasthan's Jalore district was kept chained and allegedly raped repeatedly by her father in their home. In a police complaint, the minor has accused her father of keeping her hands and legs tied with heavy chains and raping her after she saw him in a compromising position with another woman.
ZERO TOLERANCE TO RAPE
We highlighted these cases to emphasize the fact that most of these cases involved minors were barbaric to say the least. Most of the cases generated outrage for few days. 'Few Days' is the operative word here as we resume usual business. The question we need to ask is will we ensure that NO RAPE happens anywhere from now. Can we carry the torch of justice until rape convicts are hanged?
Rape shows a sick mentality. The perpetrators are people of the same society. Are we ready to ensure that a fear of law is instilled among one and all? And lets not forget that several cases don't get reported. Various studies have shown that in India, majority of the rape cases do not get reported due to the stigma attached. Where are we heading with this approach? If we only have to protest for a few days, agitate for a few days and then get back to our normal lives, this will all be for nothing.
After Nirbhaya, if sincere effort was put, perhaps the Hyderabad gangrape case would not have happened. Hyderabad brutal gangrape and murder has once again highlighted that our Police need to be sensitive and standard operating procedure must be put in place. As a society, we must be prepared for a final assault on the mindset that leads to such barbaric violation of the human body. India needs ZERO TOLERANCE for such acts. Can we make a beginning?