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Depravity increasing? Spike in child rapes

Innocence ravaged: Uttar Pradesh reported the third highest (2,115) number of child rapes in India in 2016, as per the NCRB data. Alarmed activists feel law enforcement agencies should focus on sensitisation programmes at various levels to curb sexual abuse of minors.

lucknow Updated: Mar 13, 2018 13:41 IST
Rohit K Singh
Rohit K Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Rape,India,Woman safety

Figures from the annual report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2016 are extremely distressing: they reveal a horrifying spike in child rape incidents by 82.09%, as compared to the figures of 2015 report.

Some shockers in Lucknow
  • Mar 2, 2018: A three-year-old girl fell prey to her father’s younger brother who allegedly raped her on Holi day. The girl’s condition is still stated to be critical and she underwent another surgery in KGMU on Saturday .
  • Jun 9, 2017: A 12-year-old girl was gang raped by four boys of 14-15 years of age in Nagram’s Utarawa village on the outskirts.
  • June 10, 2017: A 16-year-old girl in Shram Vihar, a colony for under privileged BPL card holders in Alambagh area was raped by youths staying in her neighbourhood.
  • Jul 20, 2017: An eight-year-old girl was murdered after being raped allegedly by a 14-year-old boy of her neighbourhood in Banthra area on the outskirts.
  • Sept 10, 2017: A 10 -year-old girl accused her rickshaw-puller father of raping her daily after returning home drunken in PGI area.
  • Dec 22, 2016: A seven-year-old girl was raped by a drug addict after holding her captive in a thicket behind the Gurudwara in Ashiana.

What is even more alarming is the fact that the highest rise has been registered in Uttar Pradesh in the same period after Tamil Nadu and the state ranks third on the list of rape with minors.

The NCRB data shows 19,765 cases of rape against children were reported across the country in 2016 while this figures was 10,854 in 2015.

In 2016, the largest number of 2,467 such incidents were reported from Madhya Pradesh followed by 2,292 incidents in Maharashtra, 2,115 cases in Uttar Pradesh, 1,258 incidents in Odisha and 1169 cases in Tamil Nadu.

In 2015, total 1,568 incidents were reported from Madhya Pradesh, 2,231 cases in Maharashtra, 594 cases in Uttar Pradesh, 1052 incidents in Odisha and no incident was reported in Tamil Nadu for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2014.

The incidents of rape with minors reported from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in 2016 and 2015 are comparable but high increase is being witnessed in Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

Child rapes are registered under Section 376 of the IPC and under Sections 4 and 6 of the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

“India has the lowest percentage of reporting in rape cases and a large number of rapes go unreported due to social stigma,” said woman activist Madhu Garg.

But the willingness to report such cases had increased in recent years after widespread media attention in several incidents, Garg said.

She added that the rise in child rape was very alarming and there was urgent need to find out the actual reason behind this horrifying trend.

Member of Lucknow Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Sangeeta Sharma said the most important reason behind the increase in such cases was exposure of people to Internet and mobile phones.

“Parents must give proper time to their kids and interact with them to explain about bad touch and good touch as such incidents can happen to anyone anywhere,” she said.

Citing a case, Sharma said a five-year-old girl was sexually victimised by the staff members of a private school in Vrindavan Colony of PGI area in May 2017. She said the girl’s mother was a doctor but still she could not assess her daughter’s trauma. The incident was discovered only when the child had a urinary infection, after which a case was registered with the police.

She said 10 months after the incident, both the victim and her mother were unable to recover from the trauma the incident had caused.

Sharma said it was high time the law enforcement agencies focused on sensitisation programmes at school level as well as at parents’ and social levels to curb sexual abuse of minors.

Advocate Rohit Kant Srivastav, who has handled multiple case of rape with minors, said it was very difficult to counsel children and make them understand how to narrate the incidents at different levels during the judicial process.

He said the rape survivors, especially minors, had to undergo acute trauma to recall the horror and face the accused during the trial process.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 13:41 IST