Vital to save our children from monsters

  • Kiran Bedi, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jul 24, 2015 09:38 IST

It's a horror story a true story still unravelling as I write. It is about what could happen to our lost children.How vital it is to do all that must be done to save them from the clutches of necrophiliacs and others prowling the streets and bylanes to steal and whisk away vulnerable children.

Victims of the most gruesome crime are children of the poor, below 10 years of age, playing by themselves, not far away from their mothers or homes. Or falling prey to the lure of sweets or other attractions. Their parents are mostly labourers, daily-wagers, living on sites or sleeping off the roads.

I am provoked to write this piece after I read a news story of yet another child rapist. Not long ago, we had a similar horrific case in Noida, in a village called Nithari when several children had gone missing and bones were found thrown in a drain outside the culprits' house.

The rapist-murderer was a known cannibal and is in jail, awaiting execution. (Still) I decided to analyse it for our readers to enhance some understanding, which will hopefully prevent wherever possible.

But this story will have to be read out to vulnerable sections which may not be aware of such monsters walking our streets to steal our innocents to fulfil their sexual addiction with children.

Sexual prowler

Here is the case in reference: "At 17, his first crime was a rape & murder..." The accused, Ravinder Kumar, 24, just a 5-foot-5-inch man, said that after he got away the first time, probably when he was 17, it made him confident. He confessed to the police that he was always on the lookout for the next child-victim.

He has been raping children, dead or alive, over the past seven years. He disclosed that he would drink, take drugs with his friends, watch porn and go 'hunting' for a child to be sexually abused.

He did go to red-light areas to get sex, but he had no money, so he picked up children for free. Also, those in brothels were higher in age. He preferred younger.

He went around loitering in colonies looking for children outside their house or near latrines, luring them or even lifting them at midnight, asleep beside their mothers. He would just pick up those who refused to get tempted by sweets and simply gag and whisk them away. He would then take them to an isolated place, silence them by throttling them, and then rape their bodies. After fulfilling his lust, he dumped the bodies in a drain or a ditch and walk away, not to return to the same vicinity for some months to avoid getting caught.

He disclosed that he got this idea after seeing a Hindi film called 'Samne' where the actor did exactly this.

Currently, the accused is taking the police to all places he is recalling where he picked up children to satiate his lust. Till now, the figure is astounding, it's increasing by the day.

Tragically, in one case which he pointed out, the father of the deceased girl is in jail. He was considered the accused by the area police. Obviously, it's a false investigation as the real criminal is this rapist caught now, who has confessed to having raped the child and thrown her away.

Prey to necrophilia

Curious to get to the root cause and explore when and how this addiction began? Any person who seeks out children for sexual arousal by corpses is known to be suffering from necrophilia.

What had his parents to say? I tracked the case with cops. I learnt that the mother, as expected, is in denial, saying that he has been framed.

She does not disclose that she would have no clue as what her son was doing, and why would he be away for long periods. She also did not know that her son was sodomised as a child. Another son of hers too had run away from home on being beaten.

The father, a plumber from Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, left his village, Ganjduware, for Delhi, for want of work.

He, too, had no clue what the son was up to. He appears to be having no capability of handing his six children. (Not known yet what other five are contributing and whether they were aware of their brother. Interrogation so far revealed one among them knew).

This is the family profile: poor, unemployed, children living off the streets, growing up with bad friends who drink, watch porn, rape and rob.

There is a need to comment on the police and the courts too. Ravinder was arrested by the police last year, for a similar offence. His earlier crimes seem to have not surfaced. I say so because this offender was released on bail, because the boy he sodomised escaped death by a whisker. A case was registered. But during the investigations, because the rapist was not recognised, he was released on bail.

My anger is with police, prosecutor and the courts. Police seems to have not interrogated him enough. Had all this been unearthed, many more children's lives could have been saved as he continued to rape while on bail.

Armed with the past record, the prosecutor could have prevented grant of bail by placing solid evidence before the court to deny bail to this rapist. The court granted bail without taking serious sureties in such a heinous offence. In such a case, he could have been on conditional bail, like reporting to the nearest police station and an NGO, for a close watch.

All three apparently took this case as one of the many, not knowing that this criminal is an addict who is on a daily prowl for child victims.

So what do we learn from all this?

The parents

Becoming parents is nature's blessing. But nurturance is their essential responsibility. Parents may be poor but what their children are doing with their lives is their bounded duty to know. This applies to bringing up sons in particular.

Watch over your growing-up sons. The company they keep and habits being formed. They could one day drive parents into jail too.

Parents must look after their children. Do not let them alone in parks. Keep an eye on them. They must report crimes or suspects. In many cases, being migrants, children go missing, but also go unreported. To prevent crimes and get such criminals caught, registration of crime is essential.

The police

Thorough investigations with comprehensive interrogations are critical to further crime prevention. It unearths past criminal acts and increases possibilities of bail refusal. Effective interrogation is crime prevention for present and future.

The courts

In such crimes, easy bail can prove disastrous, as it did in this case. Conditional bail, such as periodic visit to a police station or an NGO for attendance, and possible rehabilitation and watch can prevent repeat crime.

Without this, in totality, children, mostly girls, will continue to be lost to such necrophiliacs and research shows such cases are on the increase.

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