The dust of Kathua rape and murder cases has not settled yet nation got another shock in the Surat rape case where after ten days the identity of the victim has not been established. The body of the unidentified girl, believed be between nine and 11 years, was found in Bhestan locality and had 86 injury marks. The incident has happened in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s progressive Gujarat after his commitment to deliver ‘justice to our daughters’ He broke his silence after long time in the Kathua and Unnao cases. It is six years after the 16 December 2012 gangrape of a physiotherapy student who India knows as Nirbhaya in New Delhi such public outcry has taken place against the crime against women. The government at that time had assured to have administrative overhaul to make woman in India safe which till date has not seen the day’s light. During this all these period what one has come across is that the number of reported rapes has tripled with now infants and young girls becoming targets of older men and juveniles. According to media reports and so-called surveys nearly 34,000 rape complaints and 84,000 sexual harassments cases were registered in 2015 only. Today you have Unnao, Kathua and Surat rape cases and candlelight vigils going across the nation once again. No doubt these marches do provide people a way to vent their anger peacefully against heinous crimes such as rape, but the society has to rise beyond these symbolic protests for a sustained change. The three recent cases of rape in Kathua, Unnao and Surat have raised serious questions over women’s safety. The Nirbhaya protests were followed by a sweeping legislative response through amending rape laws. A similar trajectory is playing out again with ministers demanding death penalty for child rapists, a dangerous move giving perverse incentive to murder victims. Parliament and Assemblies have legislated for decades, but enough laws already exist to prosecute heinous crimes. The failure lies elsewhere: in registering crimes, launching serious prosecutions and delivering
convictions. A related problem is political interference.
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