The sordid episode of Kathua rape of an eight-year-old a year back had many firsts in its kitty. The incident no doubt raised public outcry not immediately but after few Bandhs, protests attached with a migration theory with it and the government issuing a notification to provide safe shelter to the migrant nomads from the land they occupy. The incident also found funds flowing from many corners in support of the aggrieved family and the beneficiary family being illiterate is today in shock to find the money drained out from its bank account. This again shows that the whole episode of rape had a deeper conspiracy and not just create communal rift. The incident politically created a situation where doubts started coming over the non-acceptance of a CBI probe as demanded by the parties and organisations. Not only this, the case could be the first to have a team of ‘all-religion police officers’ to probe the whole episode. It could be the first even in Indian and Jammu & Kashmir Police history to have such so called unbiased arrangement so that the case could be brought to its logical end. It could also be the first when a police officer from Kashmir joins investigation for the crime taken place in Jammu. One doesn’t remember any such arrangement taking place in the past. Now there was an outcry at that time for amending the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and making provision for death penalty in child rape cases. Death penalty may work as a deterrent but there is no doubt that ever crime has been curtailed by the severity of the punishment. What about hundreds of children falling victims to such heinous crimes and how many times there have been such outcries for justice and such large fund flow from various sources? Women and small children are the most vulnerable section of the society and just harping on severe punishment is not going to change the mentality of the criminals but there is a need to create awareness among the vulnerable and the weaker sections.
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