Another Young Girl is Gang-raped, and then Burned to Death!
by Elizabeth Menon
Another Young Girl is Gang-raped, and then Burned to Death!
A 16 year old girl was gang-raped twice in October 2013, that too in Kolkata where there is good representation of women at the top level! – it is important to remember that all below 16 years of age are 'Children'! She had lodged a complaint with the local police, for which no action was taken! And when she refused to withdraw her complaint, she was allegedly burnt alive on New Year's eve! Apparently, in her dying testament, she told the police that the same brutal men who raped her caused the arson to kill her just to silence her! The body was cremated on New Year's day and her parents are crying for justice, as the Police didn't do anything to save their daughter's life! If only the authorities took immediate action on receiving the young girl's complaint, at least her life would have been saved and the parents would have at least had their daughter alive, though suffering physically and mentally!
It should be mandatory that these brutal animals are given the just punishment they deserve immediately so that there is no time for manipulations, etc, by the culprits. I wonder how many more unfortunate victims like this would take for the Authorities to wake up, to punish these rapists and murderers without delay, so that the women in India can live without having to fear for their safety! So many of our women and children are brutally raped and killed, but many of the victims keep silent fearing the social stigma and persecution! What happened in Surianalle is an example: they took the courage to lodge a complaint and the family is still being persecuted, having to change their residence, but still going through hell even after 17 years!
There was another incident reported from Hyderabad -- a 22-year-old woman employee of an IT company was kidnapped at Hitec City on Friday and was driven to an isolated mango grove at Kollur in Medak district where she was raped, and the bleeding victim was dropped at her hostel. The rapists threatened that she and her family would be hurt if she tried to resist or lodge a complaint to the police – the culprits were arrested on Tuesday, but their faces were covered at the press conference!
It is about time the men in our society learn to respect the women and children as fellow human beings and not as sex objects – I am not saying this forgetting the majority of men who show respect! These men who committed this lecherous crime must have the psychotic tendencies, and must be punished severely so that this does not happen again. These barbaric animals should be castrated and let them live with it in the jail for a few days -- and then, they must be killed by 'Hanging' as an example of things to come, so that nobody would dare, even to dream about committing such an atrocity! The severe punishment they deserve may not agree with the so called 'Politically correct dogma' that one is forced to follow these days, and many may object, but the punishment must fit the crime, and those in authority must have the conviction and the courage to say it! Teaching these criminals awareness to respect women and children is a bit too late and one must realise that these are animals with criminal mind and they should be given the just punishment!
In India, we respect the 'Earth' by calling it 'Mother Earth', we call our country 'Bharat Matha' and worship female goddesses, but when it comes to protecting our women and children, we lag behind! Students and working women may have to travel at different times of the day or night and that should not be taken as an open invitation to attack them or treat them with less respect! It hurts me even to think about what that girl must have gone through! The few men in our society, who treat women as sex objects and those who visit brothels or get the girls transported to wherever they are and the few women who are in this 'Sex-trafficking' who help these men also have a big role to play in spreading this concept that women and children can be used for quenching such carnal lust! The whole society need to look into its conscience, so that when any man plans to have such lewd act, they must stop to think that it could be done to the women and children in their own homes by other men! Lessons in civic sense that includes respect for fellow beings must start at home from early childhood, reinforced in Schools and colleges and must be part of the curriculum! One must think that this girl could have been younger or older, thus making her, one's wife, daughter, sister, niece, friend, aunt, mother or even grandmother, and perhaps then, it would hurt more!
I sincerely hope that this incident does not evaporate into thin air, once this event goes past its 'Newsworthiness' -- the media and the Public have a moral responsibility to make sure that it doesn't happen! The Government must take immediate action to punish the criminals without delay, and to make arrangements to improve the Police patrolling on our streets to ensure safety for our women and children! We have laws for just about every atrocities that one can think of, but implementing these laws are highly influenced by corruption and political intervention and one hopes that our country that upholds the principles of Mahatma Gandhi would rise above these flaws in our society, to bring justice to the young girl who was gang-raped and then burned to death, and to all those women and children who need protection by law, till such time they are safe in our homes and on our streets!
08.01.2014 Update on the Gang-rape in Kolkata: the young girl who was burned to death was only 12 years old and the autopsy report shows that she was pregnant!
Does the 'FIR' mean anything?!
It has been said time and time again that rape victims do not report to the Police and therefore the culprits escape, and mostly, one would say that it is a fact, due to stigma or fear! But this heart-wrenching incident in Kolkatta in October was reported to the Police, but nothing was done for two months, till she was burned to death by the culprits – subsequently the six men were arrested! The girl could have been saved, only if the Police had acted when they received the complaint in October! So, it appears that even if the crime is reported to the police, there doesn't seem to be any benefit or protection to the victims!
The school certificate shows that the young girl who was burned to death was only 12 years and the autopsy report shows that she was pregnant! It is reported that a DNA test is in progress, to find a matching DNA among the rapists, but I don't see the relevance in trying to find out a DNA match to see who impregnated her! All six of the brutal gang raped her and burned her to death and I feel that it is totally irrelevant to find out whose sperm was responsible for the pregnancy, because all six are equally responsible for the horrific incident – and victim was only a child! (I am reminded of a brilliant thought provoking Malayalam film, 'Father's Day' directed by Kalavoor Ravikumar in 2012 that deals with the tragic story of a surviving gang-rape victim!)
On 25 October, the 12 year old girl was lured out of her house by the gang leader , telling her that her father wanted to see her and she was gang-raped by six men, and she was found next morning in a field near her house. Her father who is a taxi driver, took her to the Police station to lodge a complaint and while they were returning, the same gang apparently took her by force and gang-raped her again, for lodging the complaint against them and left her injured at a railway station. The family was forced to change their residence as they were threatened repeatedly by the gang. She was admitted to the hospital on 23 December, two months after the gang-rape , with severe burn and she died on 31 December. According to her statement just before death, two men set fire to the house after pouring kerosine on her, to silence her!
One is at a loss as to what action can one take as a dutiful citizen, to protect women and children in our society! Each one of us has to do what one can, writing to the authorities, writing articles on behalf of or to remind fellow-beings or protesting on the streets to bring awareness, etc, etc! We need to educate our children before they are free in our society as adults, the need to respect fellow beings, especially, women and children – and this must start at home, in schools and colleges! Let's hope hope for the day when our women and children are safe in our homes and on our streets!
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