Haryana, already infamous for its skewed sex ratio and ‘honour’ killings has now also become a state where animals are sexually abused. On July 26, an FIR was registered against eight men for allegedly gangraping a pregnant goat, which led to its death, in Mewat area of Haryana. The complaints were filed under Sections 377 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and Sections 11(1)(a) and 11(1) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960. As per media reports, Asalu, the owner of the victim goat, lodged the FIR at Nagina police station accusing a Savakar, Jaffar, Haroon, and five others whose identities are yet to be ascertained.
Just 10 days before this barbaric incident, it was reported that 40 men allegedly sexually assaulted a 22-year-old woman for four days at a guest house in Morni Hill. The woman, in her complaint lodged with Chandigarh’s Manimajra police station, reported that she was held captive at a guest house in Kaimbwala village, and was raped by at least 40 men from July 15 to 18.
If we look at data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), we see that in 2016, gangrapes per one lakh population in Haryana were 1.5, which is the highest in the country with a national average of 0.3. In 2015 and 2014, the state’s average was a 1.6 as opposed to the national average of 0.3 and 1.9 to 0.4 respectively.
As per the 2011 census, there were 834 girls per thousand boys in Haryana, showing a deficiency of 166 girls for the marriageable boys Is this gap really a major cause of rape? In Morni Hills, at least 40 persons from different places were allegedly involved. Were all of them unmarried? This angle should also be investigated.
Haryana Government claims that the state government has succeeded in improving the sex ratio at birth from 876 in 2015, 900 in 2016, to 914 in 2017 under PM’s Beti Bachao – Beti Padhao Programme. The state government should come up with other effective regulatory and preventive measures to curb rape in the state. Committees comprising of sociologists, psychologists, legal experts, NGOs, police officers, social workers and journalists at different levels can be constituted and advised to search the root causes of the evil. Every reported incident should be thoroughly investigated and should cover the mental health, marital status and social background of the rapists and the victim so that further preventive measures can be enforced.