It is not outsiders, but relatives, neighbours and colleagues who rape women, says data compiled by the Chandigarh police. Women, including a majority of minors, were raped by someone they knew and faced danger not from outside, but within the close confines of their homes and neighbourhood. The data indicates that girls and women in almost 90% of the cases reported last year were raped by men they already knew and those living in the vicinity.
In large number of cases, minors living in colonies were subjected to sexual assault mostly by men staying in their vicinity. While, in some cases, women alleged rape, claiming that they were exploited on the pretext of marriage. The startling statistics provided by Chandigarh police indicate that as many as 61 rapes were reported from Chandigarh last year. Investigation into the cases reveals that, in the total 61 rape incidents, 69 accused were arrested.
While 57 accused arrested were known to the victims, another 12 accused were unknown. Some rape cases even had more than two accused.
Elaborating the data, police officials said, in 50 incidents, the accused were either someone from the family or from the victims' friend circle. In six incidents, the accused were colleagues, and one was a relative in close blood relation.
Analysing the trend, UT inspector general of police (IGP) RP Upadhyaya said, "It is a disturbing trend that girls and women are subjected to physical torture by people known to them. These incidents can be prevented if the parents and victims judge or read early signs before it turns into a bigger tragedy."
The IGP added that sensitisation programmes were also organised at colleges and schools, and teachers were also told to guide female students about the difference between an uncomfortable and comfortable touch. "There is a lot of objectionable material available on digital, print and online mediums which affects the minds of boys," he further said.
The trend also makes another shocking revelation. Women have also been involved in a couple of cases, in which they lure girls before handing them to the accused. A 10-year-old girl, a Palsora resident, was raped and murdered in December last year, after a woman got the minor kidnapped to take revenge from the victim's parents. Another 14-year-old schoolgirl had also delivered a baby, but was not able to disclose the name of the accused.
CASES THIS YEAR
Around 15 cases of sexual harassment have been reported so far this year. Only last week, four unknown youngsters were booked for allegedly attempting to rape a minor girl at Dhanas. The victim was returning from school when the incident happened. She alleged that the unknown youths, whose faces were covered, physically assaulted and forcibly took her to a jungle near Dhanas and attempted to rape her.
Even though cases are registered against the accused and they are nabbed, they later manage to get acquitted from the court. Women, especially minors, succumb to family and social pressure and do not take the case to a logical conclusion. In February this year, father of a minor girl, who had raped his seven-year-old daughter was acquitted. A case was registered in March 2012 after a complaint by victim's mother. The victim later changed stand and said she was not raped by her father.
Anjitha Chepyala, DSP East
Girls should be made aware about objectionable behaviour by their parents, as most of them don't even know what they are subjected to. The parents should sensitise children.
Rajesh Gill, sociology professor, Panjab University
The trend of accused known to rape victims is not strange. It has always been like that - the accused win over the confidence, not only of the victim, but also her parents, before attacking. The over friendly attitude of girls and boys is also resulting in sexual assaults.