UP Remains Intact for Jungle Raj
In Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, a minor girl was allegedly raped by a BJP MLA. The MLA along with his goons forcefully entered minor girl’s house, took her father out and tied to a pole and thrashed him up badly. The police had arrested the minor’s father instead of the goons, and then he died in police custody due to Septicemia.
When Yogi came into power, the “ANTI-ROMEO SQUAD” was widely followed in the state by Yogi’s police force. The justification given was the ‘government’s concerns about women safety’. But when it comes to a minor girl who has been raped by the BJP MLA, Yogi and his police force seem to have a different perspective regarding women safety.
Why is UP unsafe for Women?
The National Crime Record Bureau’s (NCRB) recent data suggests that Uttar Pradesh tops the list in crime against minors, with around 15% share of total crime against children in the country. The data analysis also suggests that the second biggest category of crime against children in terms of numbers is rape, amounting to more than 18% of all crimes against kids, while crimes under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences act constitute around 4% of total crimes.
Of 39,068 rape victims in 2016, 43 percent were girls below 18 years. Offenders were known to the victim in 95 percent reported cases. Of these, 29 percent were "neighbours", "known persons on a promise to marry the victim" (27 percent) and "other known persons" (30 percent).
Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of crimes against women. While the state recorded 14.5% of the total cases of crimes against women, it accounted for 12.4% of the total number of rape cases, second only to Madhya Pradesh, which recorded 12.5% of the total rape cases in 2016.
The relevance of POCSO Act
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 was formulated in order to effectively address sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 received the President’s assent on 19th June 2012 and was notified in the Gazette of India on 20th June 2012.
The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age. It defines different forms of sexual abuse, including penetrative and non-penetrative assault, as well as sexual harassment and pornography. It deems a sexual assault to be “aggravated” under certain circumstances, such as when the abused child is mentally ill or when the abuse is committed by a person in a position of trust or authority like a family member, police officer, teacher, or doctor.
This Act also casts the police in the role of child protectors during the investigation process. Thus, the police personnel receiving a report of sexual abuse of a child have the responsibility of making urgent arrangements for the care and protection of the child, such as obtaining emergency medical treatment for the child and placing the child in a shelter home bringing the matter in front of the CWC, should the need arise.
The Act further make provisions for avoiding the re-victimization of the child at the hands of the judicial system. It provides for special courts that conduct the trial in-camera and without revealing the identity of the child, in a manner that is as child-friendly as possible. Hence, the child may have a parent or other trusted person present at the time of testifying and can call for assistance from an interpreter, special educator, or other professional while giving evidence. Above all, the Act stipulates that a case of child sexual abuse must be disposed of within one year from the date the offence is reported.
No action has been taken against the accused leader in this matter. Neither the UP government nor central government uttered a word. What kind of justice is this government providing its people? The BJP government that emphasizes on “Beti Padhaao Beti Bachao”, the importance of women safety and their upliftment just to get votes, where did Yogi government’s concerns on women safety go? Why let India ruled by those people who pretend to be our ‘representatives’ and rape our own girls and thrash our own fathers up to death? Neither do they represent the country nor us. This is definitely not the India that we want and work for.
By: Thamanna Abdul Latheef C