For Delhi women, danger lurks even at home
Is it poor policing, lawlessness or socio economic factors? What drives these alleged rapists to a crime as heinous as rape? For two weeks, our correspondents sifted through police records, read case papers, met victims, accused and their families and spoke to investigating officers. The findings were shocking.delhi Updated: Aug 01, 2015 20:34 IST
Search ‘Delhi rape’ on Google and even before you press enter, the smart search throws over 9.5 lakh records showing Delhi as the Rape Capital of India. In almost every article, the words Delhi Rape Capital are bold and headlined. In a city where any discussion on safety of women ends with a question mark, HT’s reporters visited the three most ‘unsafe areas’ in the city.
Is it poor policing, lawlessness or socio economic factors? What drives these alleged rapists to a crime as heinous as rape? For two weeks, our correspondents sifted through police records, read case papers, met victims, accused and their families and spoke to investigating officers. The findings were shocking.In three areas Aman Vihar (Outer Delhi), Ambedkar Nagar and Govindpuri (Southeast Delhi) both the rape victims and accused were found to be school dropouts, illiterates and from economically weaker backgrounds. 103 rape cases were reported from here last year, out of which 59 were related to minors. At least 18 of the minor victims were aged less than 12 years.
One victim was a graduate; others had studied from the second to fifth standard.
There were 25 cases of incest with fathers accused in seven cases and step fathers in four. Neighbours, including two senior citizens and a majority of the victim’s friends or boyfriends, were involved in 38 cases.
This year, the three police stations have already registered 52 rape cases. Govindpuri has the highest number with 20 cases. The other two have 16 cases each.
Cramped spaces they call homes, dark lanes, narrow inroads and mobile or no toilets were common at all these three places. The accused were labourers, factory workers guards or those who worked at roadside eateries.
Out of the 40 rapes in Aman Vihar, there were 13 cases of incest involving fathers, step-fathers and brothers. In Govindpuri, 30 out of the 37 accused were migrants living away from their families and not registered in any record. At Ambedkar Nagar, most cases were those of relationships gone wrong. Out of the 16 cases registered in 2013, 6 have already been acquitted and not a single conviction.
The Delhi police are conducting a sociological study to understand the trend of rapes.
Ranjana Kumari, director of Centre for Social Research said, “The government needs to take steps to improve the living condition of people living in areas like Govindpuri. Women are forced to go to toilets in the open that makes them vulnerable.”
In places like Aman Vihar where people live in cramped spaces, children are exposed to their parents having sex at an early age. This leads to heightened sexual desire, she said.
“Their urge to experiment leads to rapes,” she added.
Explaining cases of incest rapes, Director of IHBAS (Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences), Dr Nimesh Desai said, “It is the lack of ego function, or the inability to differentiate between the permissible and non-permissible, that works as a force. We live in a society where we suppress sexuality and when it comes out, it comes out worse.”