Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

Out­rage af­ter wave of gory crime against women

DE­LAYED RE­SPONSE RSS pracharak­turned­chief min­is­ter Khat­tar took more than 50 hours to grasp grav­ity of sit­u­a­tion

- Pawan Sharma pawan.sharma@hin­dus­tan­times.com Sexism · Crime · Women's Rights · Discrimination · Sexual Abuse · Human Rights · Society · Violence and Abuse · Chandigarh · Bharatiya Janata Party · Janata Party · Bharatiya Janata Party · Haryana · Haryana · Narendra Modi · Centre · Manohar Lal Khattar · Indian National Lok Dal · Indian National Congress · Jind · Panipat · Pavan Malhotra · National Crime Records Bureau · Hisar District · Kurukshetra University · University of Kansas

CHANDI­GARH : The Manohar Lal Khat­tar-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gov­ern­ment was thump­ing its chest last Satur­day over Haryana’s im­proved sex ra­tio when the re­ports started trick­ling in about the lat­est wave of girls be­ing gan­graped and then killed.

What has sparked out­rage across the state is that RSS pracharak-turned-chief min­is­ter Khat­tar took more than 50 hours to grasp the grav­ity of the crime.

Fi­nally, on Mon­day evening the Khat­tar ad­min­is­tra­tion be­gan tak­ing ac­tion against the erring cops and the top bu­reau­crats started as­sur­ing peo­ple that guilty will be pun­ished.

It is this de­layed re­sponse — and of­ten non­cha­lant also — that has been the hall­mark of this first-ever BJP gov­ern­ment in Haryana af­ter as­sum­ing power in Oc­to­ber 2014.

The fre­quency of heinous crime against women is such that even the op­po­si­tion In­dian Na­tional Lok Dal (INLD) and the Congress woke up from their slum­ber to raise the is­sue on Mon­day evening de­spite me­dia re­ports of the crime on Sun­day.

The bru­tal­ity of the crime (see box), for ex­am­ple, is such that on last Satur­day when po­lice re­cov­ered the semi-naked body of a 15-year-old Dalit girl from near a canal in Jind’s Bud­hakhera vil­lage, they found a sharp ob­ject pushed by her as­sailants in her pri­vate parts af­ter the gan­grape, rup­tur­ing her liver.

In Farid­abad that very evening, a young wo­man was raped in a mov­ing car af­ter she was ab­ducted while re­turn­ing home from work.

Yet an­other case hit the state on Sun­day when 11-year-old Dalit girl was found raped and mur­dered in Pa­ni­pat. Po­lice say the ac­cused con­fessed of hav­ing raped her corpse.

The ar­rest of the ac­cused has, how­ever, saved the gov­ern­ment from fur­ther em­bar­rass­ment.

An­other dis­turb­ing trend is that in at least four cases since De­cem­ber last year, the gan­grape vic­tims were not only killed but the as­sailants also mu­ti­lated their pri­vate parts by thrust­ing sticks. That’s the savage na­ture of the cases.

DSP San­deep Ku­mar, who is lead­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of mur­der and rape of 11-year-old Pa­ni­pat girl, said, “The ac­cused were un­der the in­flu­ence of liquor when they com­mit­ted the crime.”An­other po­lice of­fi­cial in­volved in Pa­ni­pat case in­ves­ti­ga­tion said the ac­cused are drug ad­dicts.

AC­CO­LADES AND BRICKBATS

De­spite earn­ing ac­co­lades for its cam­paign and claims about im­prov­ing the sex ra­tio (914 girls against 1,000 boys in 2017), the Haryana gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to earn a bad name when it comes to vi­o­lence against women.

Af­ter the launch of the Beti Bachao Beti Pad­hao cam­paign by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi in 2015, the state gov­ern­ment launched a multi-pronged drive to check the skewed sex ra­tio. The re­sults, the gov­ern­ment claims, are en­cour­ag­ing.

But the re­cent series of gan­grapes and killings of girls and tardy re­sponse of the state agen­cies, in­clud­ing the po­lice, in­di­cate that the trend of crime against women re­flected in the Na­tional Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statis­tics con­tin­ues to rise dan­ger­ously.

For the third year in row, Haryana has recorded the high­est rate of gang-rape per 1 lakh pop­u­la­tion in coun­try, as per the NCRB-2016 data.

Haryana has ranked 6th in crime against women with 9,839 cases.

As many as 1,187 rape cases (11% more than pre­vi­ous year’s 1,070) that in­cluded 191 cases of gan­grapes were reg­is­tered. At least 1,172 of­fend­ers were known to the vic­tims.

The gan­grape rate of Haryana was 1.5 per one lakh fe­male pop­u­la­tion of the state. Haryana had earned this du­bi­ous dis­tinc­tion in 2014 and 2015 as well, with gang-rape rates of 1.9 and 1.6, re­spec­tively.

The over­all crime against women in Haryana also rose to 9,839 cases in 2016 from 9,511 in 2015. This in­cludes a 7% rise in in­ci­dents of dowry deaths and 15% rise in cases of kid­nap­ping.

‘STATE’S IM­AGE TAR­NISHED’

Rani Rampal, Ar­juna awardee and In­dian women hockey team cap­tain, said the re­peated in­ci­dents of crime against women have tar­nished Haryana’s im­age.

“Peo­ple, es­pe­cially the girls, out­side the state have started feel­ing that the state is un­safe for the girls. While Haryana women are do­ing ex­cep­tion­ally well — be it sports, ed­u­ca­tion or beauty pageants — the so­ci­ety is treat­ing them as if they are not hu­man. It is very dis­turb­ing,” Rani said, de­mand­ing ex­em­plary pun­ish­ment in such cases.

In the wake of rape and mur­der of a six-year-old girl in Hisar’s Uk­lana, po­lice had launched a cam­paign from De­cem­ber 14 to Jan­uary 15 to deal with the crime against women. But the re­sults are con­trary to the po­lice claims.

Pro­fes­sor Ranjana Aggarwal, di­rec­tor Women’s Stud­ies Re­search Cen­tre, Ku­ruk­shetra Univer­sity, says at the core of crime against women is de­cline in val­ues and the par­ents ig­nor­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of the sons.

“Par­ents don’t check the ac­tiv­i­ties of their boys. We don’t ask boys where are they go­ing and what they are do­ing. This free­dom has nudged them to­wards the wrong path and ul­ti­mately to­wards the crime,” Prof Aggarwal said.

“The need of the hour is to launch an ag­gres­sive cam­paign to sen­si­tise youth on the lines of Beti Bachao cam­paign that helped in im­prov­ing sex ra­tio.”

When con­tacted, di­rec­tor gen­eral of po­lice (DGP) BS Sandhu said, “Yes, we are con­cerned...It is ac­tu­ally a so­cial prob­lem also.”

The need of the hour is to launch a drive to sen­si­tise youth on the lines of Beti Bachao cam­paign that helped in im­prov­ing sex ra­tio. RANJANA AGGARWAL, di­rec­tor, Women’s Stud­ies Re­search Cen­tre, KU

These in­ci­dents have tar­nished Haryana’s im­age. Peo­ple, es­pe­cially girls, out­side the state have started feel­ing that the state is un­safe for the girls. RANI RAMPAL, In­dian women hockey team’s cap­tain

 ?? HT FILE ?? Haryana was ranked 6th state in the coun­try in crime against women with 9,839 cases in 2016, as per NCRB data.
HT FILE Haryana was ranked 6th state in the coun­try in crime against women with 9,839 cases in 2016, as per NCRB data.
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