Assam records highest cases of sexual violence by armed forces in 20 years: NGO
Assam tops the list of sexual violence against women by central armed forces in the past 20 years, says a compilation of cases by a platform of NGOs against torture.
The list, prepared by National Campaign Against Torture (NCAT), mentions 114 cases of rape, molestation and other forms of sexual violence recorded between November 1, 2000, to October 30, 2020, in 11 states across the country affected by armed conflicts.
Besides Assam, other states included in the list are Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha and Tripura.
Assam recorded 21 cases of sexual violence, followed by Manipur (18), Chattisgarh (17), Jammu and Kashmir (16), Tripura (14), Jharkhand (7), Meghalaya (6), Arunachal Pradesh (6), Odisha (5), Andhra Pradesh (3) and Maharashtra (1).
A total of 224 females were victimized in the 114 cases with the highest number reported from Chattisgarh (92), followed by Assam (26), Manipur (21) and Jammu and Kashmir (20).
The list included 42 cases of rape, 6 of murder, 3 cases of rape of pregnant women, 4 cases of rape of differently-abled, 3 cases of being shot dead for resisting molestation and rape, attempt to rape, stripping, molestation, among others.
A total of 74 of the total victims were in the age group of 7 to 17 years and 156 (or 69.6 percent) of the victims were tribal women and girls, the list stated.
It also mentioned that, as per official figures, a total of 9,448 people were killed in conflict areas during 2009 and 2019, including 3,747 in Left-wing extremism affected areas, 3,070 in northeast states and 2,631 in Jammu & Kashmir.
The list was released on Saturday to mark the 20th year of adoption of Resolution 1325 by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which calls upon all parties in armed conflicts to respect international law applicable to the rights and protection of females.
Clause 11 of the resolution emphasises the responsibility of all states to “put an end to impunity and to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes including those relating to sexual and other violence against women and girls”.
The NCAT statement also mentioned acts of sexual violence against women committed by armed militant groups in the conflict-ridden areas but doesn’t provide any figure on such instances.
The NCAT stated that the country needs to amend Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) as well as Section 6 of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to remove the requirement of prior sanction with respect to rape by a member of the armed forces deployed in a conflict-hit area in order to fully implement the UNSC Resolution 1325.
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