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Police insensitive to rape cases in Delhi-NCR?

October 09, 2012 15:59 IST
The death of a 14-year-old girl on Sunday raised questions about the manner in which the Delhi police treated rape and molestations cases.

The girl, who went on a drive with her male friends and two others, died in a road accident in central Delhi on Sunday evening, according to the police. However, her family alleges that she was kidnapped, raped and murdered.

Following allegations by the victim's family her body has been sent for autopsy. 

Police said the girl was picked up by her friend Raja from outside her house in Azadpur. Apart from Raja, Ravi Shekhar -- who was driving -- and Sanjay, a friend of Shekhar, were in the car.  The vehicle belonged to Robin Gupta, a businessman in Azadpur area, and Shekhar was his driver.

In the accident, only the girl died while the other escaped unhurt.

A case of rash and negligent driving causing death has been registered at the IP Estate police station and the driver has been arrested.

According to statistics released by the National Crime Record Bureau, underage girls and those between 18-30 are victims of rape and molestation incidents. It termed Delhi as the rape capital of India followed by Delhi.

In January, the capital was rocked by the case of a 20-year-old Manipuri student working at a spa centre, who was raped in Dwarka by a man who offered her a lift back home.

Chief ministers of the northeastern state took up the matter with P Chidambaram, the then home minister who in turn pulled up Delhi police chief B K Gupta for failing to protect women

students from the northeast. 

In February, a 17-year-old girl was gangraped by five men in a car after they drugged her at a party on the outskirts of Delhi.

After the rape of 23-year-old woman in Gurgaon in March, the police told all malls, commercial establishments and pub owners that they cannot have women employees working beyond 8pm.

Gurgaon deputy commissioner P C Meena said permission from the labour department would be required for a woman employee to work beyond the stipulated time in these establishments. For staffers permitted to work after 8pm, the employer would have to provide transportation for them to go home, he said.

However, the police had to withdraw their order after they came under criticism from women's group for absolving responsibility of ensuring women are safe.  

In 2010, as many as 414 rape cases were reported in Delhi, the highest among 35 major cities in the country. According to the National Crime Records Bureau , the conviction rate in rape cases in the capital was a dismal 34.6 percent. 

Case after case, courts acquitted the accused because of flawed first information reports, erroneous procedures in collating medical evidence and shoddy investigation. Lawyers and women rights activists have continually been flagging the deep prejudice prevalent in the police against women in general and rape victims in particular, as the single biggest reason for the repeated failure of justice.

A senior Delhi police admitted that it has failed to discipline the culprits, who indulge in molestation and rape at will without bothering about the law.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi