Body of a teenage girl was found 500 metres from her house in Gudamba, Lucknow on April 10 this year. Dalveer Yadav, her distant relative who lived close by, strangulated her to death while attempting rape.
On May 13, another 20-year-old girl was found murdered near her house in a Gosaiganj village in Lucknow. She was raped and killed by one Sarvesh Kumar, who was known to the family.
The common link between the two crimes of similar nature was the familiarity of the accused with the victim.
While on the face of it, the fact can be dismissed as mere coincidence, data compiled by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) show the ‘co-incidence’ factor is too prominent to be ignored.
It says in around 91% rape cases reported in Uttar Pradesh in 2011, the accused were victims’ family members, relatives, neighbours or other familiar persons.
Of the total 2,042 cases reported, the NCRB figure says familiar persons were the offenders in 1,856 case.
While at least 1,509 culprits in rape cases were familiar to victims, 249 accused were neighbours, 96 accused were close relatives and in two cases, the accused were immediate family members.
“It is like a breach of trust. No one can gauge the trauma of a woman who becomes the victim of the lust or the sick syndrome of the person who they trust,” says Rakesh Chandra, former director of Institute of Women Studies at Lucknow University.
Insisting the frequency of such crimes is much more than what the police data and figures suggest, Chandra says only awareness can help girls escape from being the victim of such crime.
“In many cases, victims do not speak up due to social stigma,” says Chandra while claiming over 50% rapes cases go unreported.
Former UP director general of police (DGP) Sri Ram Arun feels the police should be extra sensitive about crime against women.
“Apart from working out cases, cops should also work on sensitization and awareness,” he says.