India is too resilient for words to express. She moves on amidst storm and draught, thick and thin. Following the mass protests against the rape of a five-year-old in Delhi last month, society has held back its sympathies towards other cases. According to a BBC report, a woman is raped in India every 21 minutes and there are hardly a few incidents that make headlines. For the media also, the arduous task of getting maximum TRPs has shifted the focus to the ongoing IPL spot-fixing controversy and Cannes Film Festival.
After the pandemic of sexual crimes against minors in the recent past, it is now the safety of differently-abled that has raised questions. On Saturday, four people including the director of an NGO 'Awaaz Foundation' were arrested for allegedly raping and beating up five deaf and dumb girls at a residential school in Jaipur. Two employees were alleged to be sexually exploiting the girls, aged between 15-17 years, for a period while the NGO officials ignored their complaints.
This incident follows reports of a differently-abled woman who was gang raped by her husband's friends in Greater Noida when she was on her way back from the market. Police reportedly refused to file a First Investigation Report (FIR) until the incident gained media attention.
Late Friday, a 26-year old woman was allegedly raped by a doctor in a clinic in Khar, a suburb in Mumbai. The women, affected by tuberculosis, had visited the physician to receive treatment. The 44-year old physician raped her while her husband was waiting for her outside the examination room, according to a report filed by the victim.
The physician fled, making a mockery of the police who rushed to the clinic to arrest him. As per reports, the accused requested the authorities to use his car, instead of their vehicle, to reach the police station. While being accompanied into the car, he tricked the policemen into getting out and then took off.
In another incident, an undertrial woman in Sheikpura District jail in Bihar lodged a complaint against a jamadar of the jail, Devendra Ram for allegedly raping her. The jail authorities decided to hush up the case. Only when she was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate for the routine hearing regarding her case, was the complaint registered.
In Ghaziabad, two persons allegedly gang raped a woman earlier this week after giving her sedatives. They also took lewd pictures of her and made an MMS of the crime. The victim was a divorcee and a mother of a four-year old. She was living with one of the accused when the incident took place. The victim approached the court directly, after she accused the police of not filing an FIR.
The incident followed the gang rape of a class 12 student by three men on March 2. Two of the accused have been arrested.
These incidents are a few of the hundred hushed up cases and shed light on the prevailing inefficiency and callousness of the police force towards rape victims. Furthermore, marital rape has not yet been criminalised in India, even after the suggestions put forward by the Justice Verma Committe.
On a positive note, the two-finger test was held by Supreme Court as a violation of the victim's privacy and it has asked government to provide better medical procedures to determine sexual assault.