Trigger Warning: Rape
A 19-year-old Dalit girl, on September 14, was gang-raped in Hathras district, Uttar Pradesh, by 4 upper-caste men. Discrimination grows within us, communal riots persist, though how much ever we say, we are not our own masters and women still fear to go out at night.
With time, there’s one thing that has evolved – the fear among women. Now they not only fear going out at night, but they also fear it at sunrise, noon, and even dawn. I am not saying women aren’t strong; my point is that fear has made its space in the people’s hearts and minds, and it resides there as a permanent tenant. Whenever there’s time for it to leave, our society makes sure that it stays.
On January 15, 2020, the National Crime Bureau (NCRB) released the crime data which stated that a rape case is reported every 15 minutes in India. Now, if rape cases are so common, what distinguishes this case from others?
The girl was found in the field by the victim’s mother. There were several wounds all over her body, spinal cord damaged, bleeding from the mouth, legs paralyzed, vagina bleeding, multiple fractures, etc. When her family went to the UP police station to report the case, the police said they must go home and ask their daughter to stop being dramatic. The police helped the family after 4-5 of the crime, said the family members.
The victim was in an ICU in Uttar Pradesh in Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital. When her health didn’t recover, her father shifted her to Safdarjung, Delhi, on September 28.
The next day due to no improvement in health, the girl passed away. The state police at 2:25 am, Wednesday, forcibly cremated the girl’s body while the police allegedly barricaded the family within their home.
The media in recent days has been quite busy. The media houses haven’t yet recovered from Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. Instead, it’s difficult to say whether the CBI is doing their job or the media houses. TV channels have not highlighted single news in months. When there was so much to show and tell the people, there was no coverage. The girl died, and then, the channels picked up the news. It took them two weeks.
If not the media, who is to question the police? Why did they do what they did? Who will ask the Chief Minister of UP?
In India, the total number of criminal cases against women (2018) was 3, 78,277, and UP here stands at 59,445 cases.
On September 25, 2020, CM Yogi Adityanath asked the officials to launch an operation to check the crime against women called ‘Operation Durachari.’ He said that eve-teasers, those guilty of a crime and habitual offenders in the cases of sex-related crimes against women will now see their photographs on every crossing, to name and shame the offenders.
But what is the use of it? Will this naming and somehow shaming stop the crime? Some people are proud of these incidents; instead of being saddened, they will be happy seeing their photographs on walls.
In the Safdarjung hospital, about 300 protestors from the Bhim Party, a party championing Dalits’ rights, came and shouted slogans for the girl. The District authorities in Hathras have said to take the matter to a fast-track court for a faster investigation and evidence collection. The police have arrested the four accused.
When the freedom fighters were fighting for the country’s independence, they didn’t know how the next generations will be using this freedom. It’s written; our constitution is the very example stating that we are a free country, but are we free?
I ask this question every time while writing, and soon enough, I get the answer myself.