According to the Delhi Commission for Women, a woman, who was “sold” for ₹10,000 and raped by people for whom she was allegedly working as a domestic help, set herself on fire after Uttar Pradesh police officials allegedly refused to register her complaint.
Attacking the BJP, Sushmita Dev, President, All Indian Mahila Congress (AIMC), said this incident or that of the 3-year old sexually assaulted by a man in Bandipora in J&K reveal that the BJP government has not devised any mechanisms to not just prevent rape, but also in ensuring investigation and justice for the victims.
“My heart goes out to the Hapur victim who had to decide to give up her life! Rape and violence against women impacts public health and human rights. There needs to be a concerted effort to design and implement prevention strategies both at the education and societal level. It is imperative to go beyond sympathy or anger and do the right thing by our girls. The government instead of focusing on violence prevention and intervention strategies are either covering up such crimes or the PM issues false statements of executing child rapists,” emphasised Dev.
“The stubbornness of this problem in our country and its rise can only be attributed to the perverse nature of our governance that places little importance on the woman. Also, rape in our country has been built up as an issue of ‘woman’s shame’, especially by the narratives against women spewed by BJP leaders. Often reducing her talents to just beauty,” contended Apsara Reddy, National GS, AIMC.
Data shows that number of registered rape cases has increased from 34,651 to 38,947, from 2015 to 2016 respectively. The number of pending rape cases has also increased from 16,028 to 16,124, from 2015 to 2016.
This reveals a pattern in our country where “The girl child is at increasingly put at risk due to lack of political will to bring to justice rapists as in the case of Unnao and Kathua,” adds Dev.
“There are no specific details on the Victim Compensation Fund, either its source or its outlay. And out of the ₹200 crores announced by the government a significant sum could have been used to at the very least rehabilitate the victims of such heinous crimes. Most victims suffer prejudice and inaction in silence,” points out Dev.
“Had the Prime Minister wanted, he could have brought together worthy sociologists, law makers, law enforcing agencies and teachers to formulate a concrete plan of action and improve the situation. But unfortunately the government has never looked at women-safety and empowerment as a real issue and intended to do something impactful about it. Data shows that all his schemes from the Ujjwala Yojana to Mudra Yojana have failed miserably. I pity the audacity with which the Government today talks about economic growth when the country’s daughters, mothers and sisters are not even safe in their own neighborhoods,” says Dev.
“Until the implementation of rape laws are strengthened, both mental and physical health services are made available, and barriers to victims’ access to justice and healthcare are reduced the situation seems to be grim for our girls in our country,” concludes Reddy.