Sex Crimes..Who Is Responsible?
Sign in

Sex Crimes..Who is responsible?

Senior Legal Associate
In a yet another incident, a 23-yr old paramedical student gets brutally assaulted and gang raped by six drunk men in a moving bus in Delhi. The victim and her friend gave hard time to the assailants in a bid to protect themselves from miscreants. When asked, the accused told police that they wanted to teach the victim a lesson. How can somebody who had robbed another person before committing such heinous crime be on moral policing in an inebriated state? Angry Indians go for strong protests nationwide, majority of these protests being held in Delhi. The victim is recovering but is still not out of danger. The accused say that they deserve to be “Hanged”.

In the meanwhile, we hear some more instances of gang rape and child molestation. In addition to that, we also hear that women protesters were molested by some anti social elements that had joined in just for the sake of fun and causing damage to public property. Mr. Tomar, a constable, lost his life after he was beaten up by protesters. The gang rape victim’s damage is irreparable and the late constable cannot come back. Whose fault is it? What are we asking from the government? What justice are we seeking?

There are so many questions that are yet to be answered. Being a law graduate, I realize that there are certain loopholes in the laws and judicial system in India. Does that mean that we can only blame law for whatever is happening? No.

First question is how the law can be changed and what is the role of our government in doing that? Death Penalty cannot always serve as a deterrent punishment. It ends the suffering of the guilty in a minute. For a rape or sexual assault victim, it is difficult to come out of mental trauma no matter how brave he/ she is. The government has decided to widen the scope of “rarest of the rare cases” and start fast track courts for cases like these. It is a positive sign towards taking a step forward in amending the law. The government must devise the tough punishments that would act as a deterrent for others. In many countries, rape accused are castrated or hanged publicly and it is in such countries that nobody dares to even think of doing such a crime.

Next question is what is the role of police in preventing such instances? People come forward to register a complaint against a person who commits rape or molestation but sometimes, the police officials just refuse to write a complaint. Do they think that it is not a serious thing or are they under any kind of pressure politically or by a rich man who can afford to save the guilty by bribing? We cannot say that we can’t hope anything from police. It is because of them that Mumbai Terror Attack was not a success. Sometimes I have also called police in wee hours when I sensed something wrong and they were there to help me out. It is very important for them to treat sexual assaults, rapes and molestation as a national threat. It is however, unfortunate to hear that even some Police officials are themselves involved in such heinous crimes. The question is obvious that after hearing such things, how can a citizen trust them?

Third question is what is a citizen’s role in combating sex crimes? First and foremost, education and sex education play a very important role. Second is changing our own mindset. The conservative society thinks that women are an inferior gender; men can abuse them, beat them, make them a slave and treat them the way they like. Well, this has to end. Be aware of the consequences that such crime holds for the victim and for you. People should not think that if they see any such thing around them, they should not take any action because it is none of their business. It is our business since we are the ones who have to change the society. By taking an action, I do not mean taking law in your hands. Violence is not an ultimate answer to everything, however, if women or men who think that their modesty is in danger, they can always use their physical force to protect themselves. Women can call on 181 (women helpline number) and go for self defence training as well.

Remember, we have to make our whole nation a safe place for women and for that all the three elements of society, i.e. Law making bodies, police and Mango man have to hold hands to help each other function in a better way.