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Various theories on gender and violence state that in any community that is discriminated against, it is the women who bear the maximum violence. This was proved yet again by the brutal rape of a 14-year old in the city on Friday night.
Women from Northeastern states have highlighted time and again the sexual harassment they face from the people in the city with many recounting incidents where they were singled out for such harassment because of their appearance.
“It is shocking and disgusting how men in the city think that women from the Northeast are fine with being sexually harassed and have no principles. There have been a number of times where men have propositioned me on the road and passed lewd comments because of the erroneous perception they have of us,” said Rose, a student at Delhi University, who goes by one name only.
The need for gender sensitization, especially when it comes to women from the Northeast has been discussed on and off again and experts believe that institutions such as schools and colleges are places where this can be done best.
Munirka, from where the incident was reported, has a sizeable population of people from the Northeast living on rent.
In 2009, a 19 year old girl from Manipur was sexually assaulted and killed in her rented apartment in Munirka. In 2010, another Manipuri girl in her 20’s was molested and harassed in the area.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters, most of them from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, gathered outside the Vasant Vihar police station to protest against the rape and demanded speedy justice for the girl.
The rape comes close on the heels of the death of Arunachal student, Nido Tanian, also spelt as Tania, who was attacked in Lajpat Nagar. The incident sparked off a series of protests in the city and statements of condemnation from all political parties.
“The ruling parties refused to be accountable for the highly condemnable police inaction, ‘inefficiency’ and orchestrated ‘cover-up’ that local police routinely display in dealing with such cases of racist and sexual violence,” said Akbar Chawdhary, president, JNU students’ association, who was part of Saturday’s protest.