The gruesome gangrape of a girl in Delhi last month has once again highlighted how unsafe India's women are. The National Crime Record Bureau statistics show that crimes against women have increased by 7.1 per cent nationwide since 2010. There has also been a rise in the number of incidents of rape recorded.
In 2011, 24,206 incidents were recorded, a rise of 9 per cent from the previous year. More than half of the victims are between the age of 18 and 30.
The Centre and the chief secretaries and top cops of states met in New Delhi last week to discuss rehabilitation and compensation of rape victims, gender sensitisation of the police force and depiction of women across different media platforms.
While the gangrape in Delhi is the most recent incident that outraged the nation, there have been several other crimes that drew attention to the plight of women in our country. Rediff.com lists a few cases.
Delhi gangrape (December 2012)
On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern was beaten and gangraped in a moving bus in Delhi. Such savage was the assault that thirteen days later while undergoing emergency treatment in a Singapore hospital for brain and gastrointestinal damage, the girl succumbed to her injuries.
The girl and her male companion had boarded an unauthorised bus, thinking it was a public bus after watching a film in South Delhi early evening.
The six men on board -- driver and his friends -- hit the couple relentlessly with an iron rod and took turns raping her. They then pushed the student and her friend on to the road.
The girl was taken to Safdarjang Hospital where she underwent multiple surgeries. On December 26, 2012, she was moved to a Singapore hospital for further treatment, where she died on December 29.
The Delhi police have formally charged five men with the murder and rape of the girl.
Geetika Sharma suicide (August 2012)
Former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, arrested for his alleged role in air hostess Geetika Sharma's suicide case, Kanda launched MDLR Airlines in 2007. The initials were those of his father, Murli Dhar, and son, Lakh Ram. MDLR shut down in 2009 and in October 2010 became a part of Emirates Airlines.
Geetika Sharma, a former air hostess with MDLR Airlines, committed suicide on August 5, 2012, accusing former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda of harassment in her suicide note.
MDLR Airlines, which was launched by Kanda, was shutdown in 2009 and in October 2010, became a part of Emirates Airlines.
It was alleged that before Sharma committed suicide, Kanda had sent a letter to Emirates saying that she had been a poor employee and had defaulted on a loan. Sharma's family alleged that Kanda had sent her threatening e-mails using several identities.
Geetika Sharma, who wrote two suicide notes, also alleged that Kanda was having an illicit relationship with another woman Ankita with whom he has a child.
The controversy led to Kanda resigning from the post of Haryana home minister. The Delhi police have booked Kanda for abetting Sharma's suicide.
Thangjam Manorama Devi rape and murder (July 2004)
Thangjam Manorama Devi, 32, was picked up on July 10 by Assam Rifles personnel in Manipur and found dead the next day at Ngariyan near Imphal.
She was brutally tortured and allegedly executed by army personnel.
The death of Manorama Devi sparked widespread agitation in Manipur with the demand to withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Forces Act from the state.
The victim's family alleged that personnel of the 17 Assam Rifles along with two Manipuri speaking men broke the door and entered their house around midnight. The security personnel dragged her out from bed and beat up the family members when they tried to stop them. They then locked the house door from outside and brutally assaulted her.
Bilkis Bano gangrape (March 2002)
Bilkis Bano, who was six-months pregnant, was gangraped when a mob attacked her home in Randhikpur village in Gujarat, during the post-Godhra riots.
The attackers also sexually molested Bano's family members and assaulted them.
Of the 17 attacked, eight died, while six others have been reported missing. Three of them -- Bilkis Bano, master Hussain and Sadaam -- survived the massacre.
Jessica Lal murder (April 1999)
A model by profession, Jessica Lal was shot dead at a crowded party on April 30, 1999, for refusing to serve a drink to Manu Sharma the son of Venod Sharma, a wealthy and influential Congress-nominated Member of Parliament from Haryana.
Jessica Lal was working as a celebrity barmaid at the party. By midnight the bar had run out of liquor. At 2 am Lal refused to serve Manu Sharma, who was with a group of three friends, despite him offering her Rs 1,000. Sharma then produced a .22 pistol and fired it twice: the first bullet hit the ceiling and the second hit Lal in the head and killed her.
Manu Sharma was found guilty of having murdered Lal. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on December 20, 2006.
Suryanelli rape (January 1996)
A 16-year-old girl from Suryanelli in Idukki district of Kerala was sexually harassed and assaulted continuously for 40 days by 42 men in 1996.
The accused included some well-known and well-placed individuals.
The girl was enticed, threatened, abducted and sexually exploited by a bus conductor on January 16, 1996. She was then transferred to the custody of two other persons, one of whom was a woman and the other an advocate. The duo presented her to several men, including prominent persons, in various places in Kerala.
The girl was then released on February 26, 1996, and given a small amount of money. The abductors threatened her with dire consequences if she told anyone about what had happened.
The prime accused -- Idukki Konnathadi Puthuchirayil Raju and Chirakkadavu Thekkethukavala Kottadikunnel Usha - were sentenced to 13 years' of rigorous imprisonment.
Jalgaon human trafficking (July 1994)
A major case of human trafficking, rape and sexual slavery in Jalgaon, Maharashtra came to light in July 1994.
Many of the victims were school-going children who were tricked, drugged and sometimes tortured for rape by businessmen, professionals, politicians and criminals. The trafficking, which is said to have run for 5 to 12 years involved around 500 women.
The men would scout college campuses, beauty parlours, ice cream parlours, hospitals and bus terminals, for girls. A few victims claimed they were tranquilised before being sexually assaulted and photographed.
Bhanwari Devi murder (September 2011)
An auxiliary nurse and midwife in the Jaliwada village of Jodhpur district, Rajasthan, Bhanwari Devi, 36, went missing on September 1, 2011, after blackmailing political figures for inappropriate sexual conduct.
Suspects in her disappearance were arrested by December 3, 2011, and Devi's body location was known three days later.
Her husband Amarchand alleged that she was abducted on the orders of Congress leader Mahipal Maderna. It was alleged that Bhanwari Devi was blackmailing Maderna and Congress legislator Malkhan Singh based upon a CD in which Maderna and others were seen in a compromising position with Devi.
Priyadarshini Mattoo (January 1996)
A law student, Priyadarshini Mattoo, 25, was raped and murdered at her house in New Delhi on January 23, 1996.
She had been raped, struck 14 times with a motorcycle helmet, and finally strangled with a wire. Santosh Kumar Singh, her senior in college, had been stalking and harassing her for several years, and was the immediate suspect.
On October 17, 2006, the Delhi high court found Santosh Kumar Singh guilty on both counts of rape and murder and on October 30 of the same year sentenced him to death.
On October 6, 2010, the Supreme Court of India commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment.
Ruchika Girhotra suicide (1990)
Ruchika Girhotra, 14, was molested in 1990 by the Inspector General of Police Shambhu Pratap Singh Rathore in Haryana. Constant harassment of her family and friends by the police after she made a complaint of the molestation drove her to suicide.
On December 22, 2009, after 19 years, 40 adjournments, and more than 400 hearings, the court finally pronounced Rathore guilty under Section 354 IPC (molestation).
On 11 November 2010, the Supreme Court granted bail to S P S Rathore on the condition that he should not leave Chandigarh.
Prathibha Murthy rape and murder (December 2005)
Prathibha Murthy, a call centre employee from Bangalore was found murdered on December 13, 2005. Prathibha was picked up on December 12 and while she was heading for work at night, the driver took the cab to a secluded location and then raped her before killing her.
Shivakumar, who was declared guilty by a Bangalore fast track court for the rape and murder of Pratibha Murthy, was given a life term till death.
The news created waves in Karnataka and people started questioning the security of women working in call centres in the night.
Soni Sori sexually assaulted (October 2011)
The young tribal teacher from Chhattisgarh was sexual assaulted by the Chhattisgarh state police.
Sori was taken into police custody on October 4, 2011, charges of being a courier between Maoists and the Essar group.
In custody, Sori was not only allegedly raped at the Dantewada police station, but tortured too with stones inserted into her private parts.
In a letter to the Supreme Court, Soni complained of "given electric shocks, stripping me naked, shoving stones inside me -- is this going to solve the Naxal problem."
Soumya murder (February 2011)
A fast track court in Thrissur, Kerala, on Friday awarded death sentence to a man from Tamil Nadu for raping and murdering a 23-year-old woman, whom he pushed out of a running train in February.
Soumya, 23, was pushed out of a running train in Kerala and was raped and murdered by Govindachamy.
The victim who was travelling in the ladies compartment was attacked after it left Vallathol Nagar station on February 1, 2011. Govindachamy then carried her to a deserted spot on the rail tracks and raped her.
Govindachamy had injured the girl seriously which resulted in her death on February 6.
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