The Nirbhaya rape case was a shocker and jolted the entire nation. Since the incident, that took place in Delhi in December 2012, the serious crime of rape has received much attention from the public and the government to enforce strict laws to ensure women’s safety in the country. Despite the strict rules and police surveillance, there are numerous rape cases that have caught the eye of the common man which still leaves us with a lingering question- are women really safe in India?
Among the recent hyped rape cases the two- Unnao rape case and the latest- Hyderabad vet doctor rape case, has some serious build-up going on. The four accused in the Hyderabad rape case were shot dead by the police in an encounter a couple of days back while the Unnao rape case victim was set ablaze while she was on her way to a hearing in the court.
The history of the case-
A 17-year-old girl was gang-raped on 4 June 2017 in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, India. There have been two charge sheets filed in the case so far. The first being filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on July 11th, 2018 by the victim and the second charge sheet was filed on July 13th, 2018 by the accusers- Kuldeep Singh Sengar, his brother, three policemen and five other individuals of framing the victim’s father as the perpetrator. The reason why this case is in the news so much is because the prime accused is Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a member of the legislative assembly (MLA) representing the political party- Bhartiya Janta Party from Uttar Pradesh (UP), who was expelled by the party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the case came into limelight (the victim protested in front of the CM’s residence).
On 8 April 2018, the rape survivor tried to immolate herself in front of the residence of the UP Chief Minister- Yogi Adityanath. Later, it was reported that her father died in judicial custody shortly after the second charge sheet was filed. Since then, these consecutive incidents have brought public attention to the case. During the same timeline, another gang-rape case that involved a little girl in Kathua was running on the news and both the cases have received the attention that leads to joint protests seeking justice for the victims. On July 31st, 2019, the Supreme Court acknowledged the case after the death of two of the victim’s relatives in a truck collision. It was later revealed that the family was given death threats as well.
The latest in the case-
The victim of the Unnao rape case( now 23-year-old) was pronounced dead. She was set ablaze while on her way to the court for a hearing. She gave in to her 90% burn injuries and heart failure at a medical clinic in Delhi. She was assaulted on Thursday- 5th December 2019, as she was walking to a court hearing for the case, she filed seeking justice for herself. Five men, including the alleged attackers, have been captured by the police. The sister of the victim has asked for capital punishment for the accused. She said the family would keep on battling in court until justice is served.
Assault and sexual brutality against women have increased many folds, or it’s just that now they are reported more ferociously. In any case, there has been no sign that any major steps have been taken to curb the crimes against women.
As indicated by government figures, police enlisted 33,658 instances of assault in India in 2017, a normal (the definition of normal has left us all bewildered) of 92 assaults each day. When it comes to justice, we have several questions in our minds that are yet unanswered like in the encounter of the accused in the Hyderabad rape case. Some steps must be taken on this Unnao rape case.
- Why are Indians praising the killings in Hyderabad?
- Was justice really served?
- Should the common man take the reins in his own hands when the government is so lethargic?
The battle for gender equality in India is ages old. Why India’s assault emergency gives no indications of decreasing, such questions eat up the society as a whole and leave us no choice but to be vigilant all the time.
This article is contributed by Ecole Globale International School.