Last week’s abduction-cum-gangrape has turned the Delhi Police’s logic of being unable to prevent crimes of passion on its head. Every time a woman is raped here, the Delhi Police seeks refuge behind the fact that more than 95% of rape victims are known to their offenders.
In 2009, 12 rape cases were reported in which the offender was unknown to the victims. In 2008 the number of unknown offenders was 9. In 2007, it was 10 cases and in 2006, the number stood at 11. The last year saw the maximum number of the crime being perpetrated by unknown persons.
“If we look into some sensational rape and gangrape cases the capital has witnessed in the last eight years, we find that the victims have not known the offenders. Though they make up a minority in terms of figures, these men are more dangerous,” said Dr Rajat Mitra, director, Swarnchetan, an NGO that counsels crime victims.
He said a majority of cases that shook the capital from 2002 till date involved gangs on the prowl who targeted “shy and unsuspecting victims”.
“Whether it is the gangrape of a fourth-year medical student from the Maulana Azad Medical College in 2002, or the case in which a 16-year-old girl was raped on a DTC bus in 2006 or this recent case, the offenders have been on the prowl. Every woman has been a potential victim,” Dr Mitra said.
Mitra, who has interacted with offenders involved in more than eight sensational cases of gangrape till date, says the offenders have been found to be acting as per habit, not impulse.
“All the offenders I have interacted with have been involved in such attacks in the past. This brings the city’s security infrastructure into question,” he said.
The brazen nature of the perpetrators, Dr Mitra said, could be judged from the fact that the brutal gangrapes were perpetrated without any fear of law.
“Most of these crimes have been committed in full public view: either in moving vehicles or public places, such as the Mandawali rape, without any consideration of the law or morality,” Dr Mitra added.