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Brutal rapes rattle India, stricter laws needed

Ritika

How many more rapes, India?

When the news of the brutal rape and assault of nonagenarian broke out, it left the country in a deep shock. Is it for the first time that such a heinous crime has come to light? No, it happens everyday! In India, according to National Crime Bureau records, a girl is raped in every 15 minutes. Thousands of rape cases are reported everyday but some of them are deeply disturbing. There's hardly a day when rape does not make a headline of our newspapers. But one state whose crime graph against women has increased considerably is Uttar Pradesh. UP has witnessed tremendous horrific rape cases of minor in the last few weeks. The opposition has attacked Yogi Adityanath government over the worsening law and order in the state. But the govt seems clueless. It has been noticed that 'minors' have become the soft target of the rapists and they are killed after the rape to supress the crime. Despite the stringent provisions made in the law to ensure protection for women and children against sexual predators after the atrocious Nirbhaya rape case, there is no let-up in crime against women.

WHAT IS THE REASON?

Significantly, every fourth rape victim was a minor and in 94 pc cases, the victims were known to the offenders. Uttar Pradesh reported the third highest cases, after Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Is it just the law and order or other factors too? Actually, this is a result of multiple factors, the most important being the failure of our society to bring up our sons to respect women. What is more appalling is poorly conducted investigation and slow pace of judiciary. In every case, encounter is the not the final solution. Fear has to be perpetrated among the culprits to reduce such crimes. As the majority of criminals get away with impunity, it is not surprising that law remains a poor deterrent, especially for the well-connected people. Though the Yogi Adityanath government came to power on the promise of ending jungle raj in UP, women are far from the promised land. The victims still waits for justice in most of the cases.

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CRIMES IN SPATE AFTER NIRBHAYA CASE

Rapes and sexual violence have been in the spotlight in India since December 2012 when a 23-year-old physiotherapy student was gang-raped on a moving bus in Delhi. The grusome incident sparked nationwide outrage and prompted people to come out on streets with demands for tougher laws. But despite the increased scrutiny of sexual crimes, their numbers continue to rise. And remember, all cases are not reported. Only those who are extremely brutal are reported in the press, rest unregistered cases remain unheard. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he talked about the 'rape' and offered advice to parents how to bring up their sons. But since then, so many rape cases have been reported yet ,PM Modi has kept mum. Most of the leaders of the ruling party have been in the headlines for committing such 'offences'. The government must bring in very strict laws to reduce the increasing crime against women.

MINDSET HAS TO BE CHANGED

When three men were convicted in 2014 for the gang rape of a journalist, Mulayam Singh Yadav, leader of the regional Samajwadi Party said: "Boys make mistakes. They should not hang for this. We will change the anti-rape laws."

A similar statement was issued by BJP President Ram Bhatti who said, "The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night. Why was she driving so late in the night? Sexist, misogynist, and insensitive statements go hand in hand with some politicians in our country.

In such cases, we expect the people in power to take stern and crucial steps or at least be sensitive when they address such issues. Instead, they end up justifying the sexual harassment with their bizarre and clueless explanations while some simply choose to blame the victim. This needs to changed. Rape should not be normalised, it's a brutal crime and cannot be justified on any grounds.Empowering women is a distant dream, we should talk about protecting them first. We need to create a safe and peaceful environment for every individual citizen, be it a man or a woman to stop such crimes. Any form of violence, including martial rapes, should be a non-bailable offence if we want to create a 'safe' society for women.Just like we teach our girls about manners, the same must be taught to boys. Sex education must be implemented in schools where students can consult their teachers and mentors. Parents should open up with their children and should discuss about sex, hormonal and body changes and more. We as a society needs to come together to create a safe environment for every citizen.

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