#India- #Delhigangrape case: 10 main points from #JusticeVerma report #Vaw


23 Jan, 2013

Text: PTI

NEW DELHI: The Justice Verma Committee on Wednesday recommended enhancing punishment of upto 20 years imprisonment for rape and murder and life for gang rape but refrained from suggesting death penalty.

The three-member Committee headed by former Chief Justice J S Verma submitted its 630-page report to the government suggesting amendment of criminal laws to provide for higher punishment to rapists, including those belonging to police and public servants.

New offences have been created and stiffer punishment has been suggested those committing it like leaving the victim in a vegetative state.

Created new offences

The new offences include disrobing a woman, voyeurism, stalking and trafficking. The present law provides for punishment for rapists of imprisonment ranging from seven years to life.

The panel, which was constituted in the wake national outrage over the December 16 gangrape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi in which one of the accused six is said to be a juvenile, however, is of the opinion that the age of the juvenile under the Juvenile Justice Act need not be lowered from the present 18.

There has been strong demand that the age of a juvenile should be brought down to 16 in view of the fact that the minor accused in the Delhi gangrape allegedly behaved in the most brutal way.


No death penalty for rapist

Releasing the report, Justice Verma told a news conference that the Committee has not suggested death penalty for rapist because there was overwhelming suggestions from the women organisations against it, a point that was received with thunderous applause from activists at the media interaction.

The Committee did not recommend death penalty for rape because it was a “regressive step” and it “may not have a deterrent effect”.

“We have not recommended death penalty as we had overwhelming suggestions against it. The women groups unanimously were against death penalty and that is why we thought that is a strong reason to respect that view particularly in view of the modern trend also,” Justice Verma said.

Replacement of Section 375 defining rape

Among the amendments proposed is a change in Section 100 of the IPC dealing with right of private defence which extends to causing death. Taking note of the brutality committed in the Delhi gang rape incident, the Committee suggested replacement of Section 375 defining rape by defining specific unnatural acts.

Intentional touching will constitute the offence of sexual assault for which punishment will be a maximum of five years rigorous imprisonment or fine or both.

Use of words, gestures which create an unwelcome threat of sexual nature or advance would invite a maximum punishment of one year imprisonment or fine or both.

Failure of many public functionaries

Justice Verma came down heavily on Union Home Secretary R K Singh for praising Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar in the wake of the gang rape incident instead of coming out with an apology.

The Committee said the Delhi gang rape incident has disclosed the failure of many public functionaries responsible for traffic regulation, maintenance of law and order and more importantly, their low and skewed priority of dealing with complaints of sexual assault.


Clear jurisdiction of the police over crime scene area

Disputes relating to the jurisdiction of the police over the area of the crime are often a cause of delay in initiating the process of taking cognisance of the crime and providing medical aid to the victim.

The panel said the peculiarity of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi not having any control over the police force, which control vests only in the Ministry of Home Affairs is the reason given publicly by the Delhi Chief Minister for the absence of responsibility of her government.

Apathy of civil society

“This ambiguity must be removed forthwith so that there is no divided responsibility in Delhi in respect of maintenance of law and order. Such a step is also essential to maintain accountability,” it said.

The Committee also took note of the apathy of civil society and mentioned about the inaction of passers-by and bystanders, who failed in their citizenship duty of rendering help to the Delhi gang rape victim and her companion who were lying badly injured and disrobed on the roadside for a considerable amount of time.


Change in behaviour of the citizenry

“Misbehaviour of the police towards any samaritan is often the cause for such apathy. Bust this must not deter citizens from doing their duty. A change in the behaviour of the citizenry will also improve the conduct of the police. This effort must be promoted,” it said.

The Panel said the brutalities of the armed forces faced by residents in the border areas have led to a deep disenchantment and the lack of mainstreaming of such persons into civil society.

“Serious allegations of persistent sexual assault on the women in such areas and conflict areas are causing more alienation,” it said.

Appropriate machinery for supervision of juvenile homes

Committee member Gopal Subramanium said the Juvenile Justice Act has been a total failure and condition of the juvenile homes were pathetic.

“When you read our report you will find we have extracted from the reports of the National Commission for Protection of Children and you will be shocked to see the unimaginable things juveniles have to do there…,” he said.

The panel suggested that the Chief Justice of the High Court of every state should device appropriate machinery for administration and supervision of these juvenile homes in consultation with experts in the field.


Medical examination of rape victims by global experts

The Committee also said all marriages in the country irrespective of the personal laws under which such marriages are solemnised should mandatorily be registered in the presence of a magistrate and the magistrate will ensure that the marriage has been solemnised without any demand for dowry having been made and that the marriage has taken place with the full and free consent of both partners.

The panel suggested medical examination of victims of sexual assault which were prepared on the basis of the best practices advised by global experts in the field of gynaecology and psychology.



#Delhigangrape -Mysterious woman who escaped #Vaw

DC |  Jan 7,2013 

New DelhiDelhi police are frantically searching for a girl who was spotted near the IIT flyover by the six accused, minutes before they picked up the 23-year-old paramedical student and gangraped her on December 16.

The accused, after robbing carpenter Ramdhar, wanted to lure a sex worker into their bus. They saw a girl in a black dress and planned to kidnap and gangrape her. The girl, unaware of their plans, took an autorickshaw before they could reach her. A police officer, on condition of anonymity, said the girl was waiting for transportation when she was spotted by the accused.

“The accused revealed it during interrogation. We are searching for the girl and auto driver. We will check CCTV footage from nearby hotels to identify the auto and the girl. They can help us strengthen the case,” he said.
The accused stopped the bus close to the girl, but she had already hired an autorickshaw. They  then turned towards Munirka, where the 23-year-old paramedical student and her male friend were waiting, and offered them a lift in the bus.

The accused, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma, told the police during interrogation that they had planned to rob and gangrape the girl who had hired an autorickshaw.


#India -The Bitter Truth Regarding Delhi Police’s Womens’ Help-Line #Vaw #Justice

January 5, 2013
by , at kafila.org

An Account by An Activist.

Guest Post by Kavita, Stree Mukti League
Translated from Hindi by Shuddhabrata Sengupta

It would be natural to expect that in the wake of the barbaric Delhi gang-rape of December 16 and subsequent popular upsurge of anger the police and the state machinery would betray a modicum of sensitivity and alertness. The reality is just the opposite of what you expect. We have heard this from many women in the past few days, and a few evening’s ago, came face to face with this sad fact ourselves.

For the last few days, we (activists of the Stree Mukti League) have been going to different places in Delhi to hold meetings, demonstrations and to distribute leaflets against sexual violence. The leaflet has a contact phone number for the Stree Mukti League. Since the evening of the 1st of January this year a perverted male individual has been continuously ringing that number, abusing us, threatening us, using obscene and unprintable language. He even said ‘I know all you girls, and you cannot escape me. What I will do to you will terrify people…’, and several other things which cannot be repeated.

There is no question of us being scared of these threats. We have come on to the streets to fight sexual violence and patriarchy and we are not going to be scared off the streets by this kind of abusive ranting. Yes, patriarchal expressions such as these are repulsive, but what is much more disturbing, indeed shocking, is the conduct of the Delhi Police. We find it necessary to share with all of you what happened to us when we drew the attention of the Police to these calls. That is why I am outlining below a brief sketch of the facts of what happened.

On January 1, at 6:46 pm in the evening I received a phone call from the number 8505898894. The caller (whom I have talked of above) started abusing and threatening me using very obscene language. I cut the phone, and then he called again and said more, which was much worse than what he had said before. This continued, at intervals of every two to three minutes, from then onwards(around a quarter to seven) for roughly five and a half hours, till after midnight, till 1: 08 am.

In the middle, we tried to call the number that was harassing us, but the obscene and threatening caller hung up on us. Once, when he called at 8:46 pm, I told him that we had complained to the police about him and that his call would be traced. Hearing this, he cursed us. He did not stop calling, till late into the night.

The Helplessness of the Helpline

After several attempts, finally, we were able to get through to the new Delhi police helpline number 181 at 9:03 pm that night. The person at the other end of the line at 181 told us that our complaint has been filed, but that they were not in a position to give us a tracking number for ‘follow up’ on the complaint. To obtain this number, we were told to call at 12 pm the following day. Upon insistence,  we were given another two numbers – 27891666 and 1096. We were told that we could try calling on these two numbers ( 27891666 and 1096) We called several times on 1096 (the dedicated helpline number for reporting stalkers and obscene callers) but each time we got a message that we had reached an ‘invalid’ number. Finally, at 9:11 pm, we got through to 297891666, (the other number that we had been given by the policeman) and we were given a complaint tracking number – 36A-1. Despite this, the obscene and threatening calls from 8505898894 continued. Sickened by this continuing harassment, I tried calling again on 181. I got through once. But the person who received the phone cut the call without letting me finish what I was saying. I tried calling 181 several times after that, but no one picked up the phone.

The next morning, I called 181 at 9:17 am and 9:18 am. But there was no response. Finally, I called the chief public relations officer of Delhi Police, Rajan Bhagat, at 9:30 am on his mobile number. I told him all that had happened and gave him the complaint tracking number that I had been given the night before. I told him that I am a social activist and a journalist. He told me that I should register a complaint on 1096 and give him the complaint number. Subsequently, I called 1096 from three different phones but I still got the ‘invalid number’ message. When I called Rajan Bhagat again to tell him that this is what had happened, he shrugged the matter off by sang that what I was saying was simply not possible. When I told him that I had already filed a complaint last night, and that I had given him the complaint number, and asked why he could not follow up on the basis of last night’s complaint, he cut the phone.

Then I went to the Delhi Police website and looked up an ‘alternative number’ for the 1096 helpline number. This ‘alternative number’ is 27894455. When I called this number, I got through to a police-woman. She was the same lady who I had spoken to when I called the number (297891666) that I was given by the person manning 181 the previous evening. She told me that the process of ‘number tracing’ could take 2-3 days, because the police has to send an email to the phone company, and the phone company takes time to respond, etc., etc. She also said that in most cases all it takes for the harassment to cease is a ‘scold’ from the police, but there is a special class of ‘mean’ (‘kaminey’) and ‘rare’ type of scoundrels who persist, and that ‘your caller’ seems to be of that variety.

I told everyone from Rajan Bhagat (Chief PRO, Delhi Police) to the police-woman who spoke to me that the man who is harassing us has threatened us with violence, and that he has stated that he would attack us because we complained against him. I asked whether the police would act only once something terrible actually happened. We, the activists of Stree Mukti League are on the streets everyday, agitating on this issue, and this man says he knows who we are, that he recognizes us and he is threatening us. But the police do not seem to be taking us seriously, all they do is offer empty assurances.

We want to know whether any woman in Delhi can feel safe if this is the state of Delhi Police’s effectiveness, even after the death of the woman who was gang-raped on the 16th of December. This is what the state of the sensitivity of the Delhi Police is, even after massive public outcry. Can Sonia Gandhi and Shiela Dikshit see the reality of how the machinery that they run functions through the mist of their crocodile tears? Savage, perverted, bestial men still wander free of fear and women cannot even register their complaints. If this is the case when a social activist and independent journalist makes a compaint, imagine what would be the case when the complainant is an ordinary woman, a common citizen. On the other hand, the telephone-assaulter is getting bolder. He kept calling, even on the 4th of January.

Kavita, Stree Mukti League

NOTE : It costs money to call all these ‘helplines’ Why are they not free? If a woman who is poor is continually harassed, must she keep spending money on endless phone calls to try and get relief from that harassment ?

(Update , January 5, 2013 : Even after talking to people on all the police helplines and the chief PRO, all that we have been told is that the police now has the ‘call details’ of the phone-stalker, but they still do not know who is making the calls. When questioned further, the police personnel inevitably cut the call, saying they are busy, in court, or in the field. Eventually, the policewoman taking calls at the ‘alternative helpline number’ did refer me to the local police station. And a policeman from the local police station came to meet me in the afternoon. The seriousness with which he noted the complaint was evident from the fact that he did not have a carbon paper with him that would enable him to give me a carbon copy of the compaint. When I asked for a copy with his signature, he evaded the question, saying ‘why are you worried, a complaint has been filed, at the most you can get a photocopy done of this piece of paper.’ Subsequently, when I have called the local police station to know what progress there is in the case, I am told, what more do you want – a complaint has been filed, the ‘call details’ are with us, we just don’t know his address. Meanwhile, the man who has been harassing me continues to call and threaten me.)

[ This text was first published, in Hindi, on January 2, 2013 the author’s blog – ‘Der Raat ke Raag’ and on Sanhati. An update was published on the author’s blog on January 5, 2013. This translation combines the content of the earlier post and the update.  ]


#Delhigangrape: FIR against Zee News for revealing key witness’ identity

Jan 5, 2013

Delhi Police on Friday lodged a case against Zee News channel at the Vasant Vihar police station for revealing the identity of the gang-rape victim by carrying an interview of her friend who was the lone witness in the case.

The case will be filed under Section 228 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to disclosure of identity of victims of certain offences, including rape, Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said.

In the interview, the person severely criticised the time taken by the police to respond and the indifference of the public while he and the girl lay on the road after being thrown out of the bus.

“The bus occupants had everything planned. Apart from the driver and helper, others behaved like they were passengers. we even paid Rs.20 as fare. Then they started teasing my friend and same led to a brawl. I beat three of them up but then the rest of them brought an iron rod and hit me. Before I fell unconscious, they took my friend away,” he told Zee News.

“From where we boarded the bus, they moved around for nearly two and a half hours. We were shouting, trying to make people hear us. But they switched the lights of the bus off. We tried to resist them. Even my friend fought with them, she tried to save me. She tried to dial the police control room no.100, but the accused snatched her mobile away,” the male friend said.

He said before throwing them from the bus, “they snatched our mobiles and tore off our clothes in order to destroy any evidence of the crime”.

Recounting the sequence of events on that fateful night, he said, “after throwing us off the bus, they tried to mow us down but I saved my friend by pulling her away in the nick of time. We were without clothes. We tried to stop passers by.
Several auto rickshaws, cars and bikes slowed down but no one stopped for about 25 minutes. Then, someone on patrolling stopped and called the police,” he said.

Contradicting the police claims that they acted swiftly after being informed, he said three Police Control Room vans arrived at the scene only after about 45 minutes and wasted time in deciding under which police station’s jurisdiction the case fell.

The youth claimed that nobody, including the police, gave them clothes or called an ambulance. “They were just watching us,” he said, adding that after repeated requests, some gave him a part of a bed sheet to cover the girl.

Naresh Sharma/Firstpost

The 23-year-old medical student was gangraped and brutally assaulted  when the the two boarded a bus around 9 PM Munirka area after watching a movie in a cinema hall on December 16.

The girl was later taken by a police patrol to a government hospital where she battled for life for several days before being flown to Singapore in an air ambulance for specialised treatment. However, she passed away on December

Police had chargesheeted five men, including the driver of the bus and his brother, in the case and accused them of various crimes like murder, attempt to murder, gangrape, kidnapping and unnatural offences.

The sixth accused is a juvenile as he is a little under 18 although he is to be subjected to a bone density test to verify his age. He will be tried by the Juvenile Justice Board if he is a minor.



#India-Another woman gang raped in car and dumped in South Delhi #Vaw #delhigangrape


STAFF REPORTER, The Hindu, Dec 27, 2012

A 42-year-old married woman was gang-raped on Wednesday, allegedly by three persons, at an unknown place and dumped. One of the accused, who is known to the victim, has been detained and is being interrogated.

The incident came to light when one of the victim’s friends made a call to the police control room at 9.17 p.m. and the local police reached the spot opposite a government senior secondary school in Kalkaji. There they found the victim along with her friend.

The victim told the police that she was raped by an acquaintance, Dilip Verma, along with his two friends, at an unknown place. She was immediately taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and admitted.

The victim, who hails from Jaipur, later told the police that she had gone to a fair in Mathura on December 23 and after a three-day stay there decided to come to Delhi to buy clothes from Chandni Chowk.

On December 26 around 10 a.m., Dilip offered her a lift in his car saying that he was also going to the capital. He was accompanied by a woman and a toddler in the car which was being driven by a chauffeur, the victim told the police.

On reaching Delhi, Dilip dropped the woman and the child at an unknown place leaving the victim all alone with him and the driver. He then allegedly took her to an unknown place, where two of his friends were already present. The three gang-raped her, threatening her with dire consequences if she informed anyone.

They dumped her at an unknown place and drove away. She managed to reach Kalkaji and call her friend who in turn informed the police.

Based on the complaint, the police have registered a case under Section 376 (G) of the Indian Penal Code and detained Dilip, a resident of Agra.

Sources in the Delhi Police said that a few months ago the victim had filed a complaint of attempt to rape against Dilip, at the Sikandra police station in Agra, but the police did not register any case.

‘ I witness” account of India Gate on dec 23 #Vaw #Protest #delhigangrape

DECEMBER 26, 2012
by , Kafila.org

Guest post by SANGEETA DAS

[The Delhi Police has begun systematically lying about what has been happening in the past few days. We have seen spin doctoring around the unfortunate death of Constable Subhash Tomar. There has been efforts to plant generalized and unsubstantiated rumours about the presence of ‘terrorists’ amongst the crowds at India Gate. We have even seen the Chief Minister of Delhi, Shiela Dikshit and a sub divisional magistrate complain about the Delhi Police trying to interfere and influence that process of the recording of testimonies. Here is an important account by an eyewitness, Sangeeta Das, about the way the police behaved on the evening of the 23rd of December. Please note the kind of language that she says policemen were using. Can we trust the city to be safe in their hands.]

I am appalled at the lop-sided relay of events and incomplete images being telecast by some of the NEWS channels on TV, regarding the incident that happened at India Gate yesterday (this is an account of what happened on 23rd of December) at around 5:30 PM.

I was there. We were all on the other side of India Gate towards the Dhyan Chand Stadium.

I think I need to paint the correct picture for the nation. Except for CNN IBN and NEWS X, most other channels are not showing the peaceful gathering. Thus it gives out the wrong message to the nation, to the politicians, to other women that there was violence.Please pass on this note to as many people as you can and post it at as many places.

THERE WAS NO VIOLENCE NO PROVOCATION…THE POLICE ATTACKED WITHOUT ANY WARNING. I have been through section 144 earlier. At least there should have been one warning issued to us to get up and leave, peacefully, before they started hitting us.

Ms. Naina Kapur, of VISHAKHA GUIDELINES fame, was there with me. Ms.Smita Bharti of SAAKSHI, an NGO working on SEXUAL HARASSMENT on women, was there. Ms.Nafisa Ali was standing behind us, Mr.Arvind Kejriwal was sitting just two rows in front of me, Mr.Arvind Gaur of ASMITA THEATER GROUP was there asking all the people to sit down and listen to the talks.

There were about 200-250 girls and equal or more number of men of all ages. There were young girls, some children, families and some elderly people along with hoards of photographers, journalists and reporters.

WE WERE ALL SITTING ON THE ROAD PEACEFULLY and listening to the painful account, of the mother of ‘KIRAN NEGI’, a 3 yr old who has been brutally raped and disfigured and killed, by her attackers. Even the sloganeering had stopped.

Many young and old men of Delhi were standing around us in a 3-4 layer human chain to protect us from any hooligans or nasty elements. It was like a CHAKRAVYUH.

Members of the ASMITA THEATER GROUP, including Mr.Gaur, were constantly walking around the circle. Young boys and girls of his team were repeatedly requesting and talking to people to not resort to violence, not to panic or run or throw stones, not to damage public property, AND not to hurt or abuse the female protestors.

There were many volunteers distributing biscuits and water to every protestor.

We were talking to the ‘AAM JANATA’ of Delhi on how to tackle the violence on women and children starting from ourselves, our homes and communities.


I had just finished my packet of biscuit when the police, hundreds of them from DELHI POLICE and RAF, charged at us from behind, WITHOUT ANY WARNING.

They first attacked the men from behind, breaking their CHAKRAVYUH. I stood up to see what the commotion was about, and immediately fell as most girls didn’t get enough time to stand up. I hugged Smitaji as we fell on each other and there was a stampede over us.

Some of the men from the circle ran for their lives, but most of them ran towards us and hugged us and fell on us and took the initial blows of the LATHI CHARGE.

I couldn’t see anything; I just heard the two cracks of a SPLIT BAMBOO STICK on my back, butt and thighs. Then I heard the police screaming, HARAMZADIYON, RANDIYON, and then I saw a boot kicking my knees and shin.

They hit Smitaji on her lower-back and spine. The boys of ASMITA, and some more men pulled us all up and all of them formed protection girdles around the girls to push us out of the range of the water cannons and charging men in KHAKI AND BLUE.

Visibility was poor due to fog and tear gas; many girls were hit; even when we were running away and saying, “Ham jaa rahen hain, hame mat mariye”,…. they were hitting the boys rampantly, constantly spitting abuses on the girls. Many women reporters were also hit and chased, their vans attacked, equipments broken. Some girls still managed to pull a few lathis and gave it back to the men. I don’t know what happened to the children in the group and how the aunties in saris managed to run. I just hope they are all well.

There was not a single ambulance in sight; the entire C- Hexagon of India Gate was empty, barring the police. We walked for almost 45 min, as there was no way out from the outer circle. Finally we managed to duck behind press vans and escaped via Shahjahan Road.

Do I look like a hooligan? Was I armed? Was I provoking the police or creating a nuisance? Was I resorting to violence, by sitting there and listening to, or sharing our personal grievances of Sexual harassment and assault? You judge for yourself.

Agreed, that in such gatherings, some nasty elements do infiltrate and create a raucous, but the police didn’t seem to have the basic sensibility to differentiate between hooligans and some young girls, children, and elderly people.

If the Delhi Police and RAF lack the basic cognizance to recognize the good from bad, what protection can we expect from them? Instead I thank the men of Delhi, the boys of Delhi, who helped all the girls to escape from the wrath of THE POLICE. 

I request the people who were present there, to paint the correct picture, so that Mr.Manmohan Singh, Mr.Shinde and others would get the correct picture of what happened on the ground.

I request the PM and the Home Minister to believe that “I, the woman of India,” am not violent or the ‘Shame of the nation’… that we have to be ashamed that the world is watching. I was not offensive. But I will definitely stand up again to defend myself, my mother, my daughter and my kind. Let the world watch.

Justice for Women NOW -Call for a citizen’s march to India Gate on 27 December


Call for a citizen’s march to India Gate on 27 December. Assemble at the Gol Gumbaz Nizamuddin at 2 p.m.

We demand

  1. Sack the Delhi Police Commissioner.
  2. Fast-track 1 lakh pending rape cases across the country within 100 days. Ensure swift and certain punishment in all cases of crimes against women.
  3. Register FIRs on all complaints of rape, sexual harassment and crimes against women. Announce and publicise gender-just protocols for FIRs and police investigation of crimes against women. Punish police who violate the protocols and display gender bias or victim blaming. Implement police reforms and judicial recommendations. There should be no immunity for offenders, whatever their status.
  4. Announce a process of consultation with women’s organisations and students for a Special Session of Parliament in order to review and enact robust, democratic, gender-sensitive laws on crimes against women, including ‘honour’ crimes. We demand that the Bills on sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace must not be passed in their present form. We hope that the judicial commission will take on board the experience and representations of women’s group known for their work on sexual assault and harassment.
  5. Ensure massive expansion of safe public transport for women.

The young student who was brutally gang-raped in Delhi on 16th December is still battling for her life. We wish her a speedy recovery and convey all our support to her family and friends. We demand speedy trial and punishment for all the perpetrators of this heinous crime.We believe that the death penalty will not help lead to more convictions or end rape and will not bring about gender-just laws.

Ours is a peaceful protest. We condemn the highhandedness with which the police have cracked down on peaceful protestors since 16 December. We demand the immediate withdrawal of Section 144 and the closure of metro stations, and assert our right to assemble and peacefully protest at India Gate. At the same time, we also condemn the actions of a handful of anti-social elements who have tried to provoke violence. Women demand equality and freedom from violence in their homes as well as in the public sphere. We condole the death of the police constable after the violence on 23 December.

Despite massive protests across Delhi and India, the government’s assurances have been hollow and smack of tokenism. Until we are given firm assurances on our demands, we will continue our struggle. We call for strong resistance to any attempts to make women responsible for their own safety and to indulge in victim-blaming in cases of sexual violence. We demand that people in public positions who indulge in victim-blaming should quit.

It is now up to the government —


We appeal to all concerned citizens to join a March from Nizamuddin (Gol Gumbaz) to India Gate on 27 December at 2 pm.

No organization banners, flags or slogans are allowed.

No form of violence or provocation will be tolerated.

Delhi gangrape protests: Police constable Subhash Tomar dies

PTI : New Delhi, Tue Dec 25 2012, 11:15 hrs
Delhi gang rape

 47-year-old Delhi Police Constable, who suffered serious injuries during violent protests at India Gate on Sunday, died today after battling for life in a city hospital.

Subhash Chand Tomar was on ventilator since his admission at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on Sunday evening.

“With deep regret, we have to inform you Constable Subhash Chand Tomar succumbed to his injuries at 6:40 AM today,” Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said.

Tomar, a graduate in arts, hailed from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

He was posted in Karawal Nagar area and was called for maintaining law and order at India Gate area during the protests on Sunday over the gangrape of a 23-year-old girl on December 16 here.

Tomar, who joined the police in 1987, was found lying injured on Tilak Marg and was rushed to the hospital.

As a mark of respect, the Delhi Police decided that all personnel will donate one day’s salary to Tomar’s family.

Police had already arrested eight persons, including an activist of Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, earlier and charged them with attempt to murder in connection with the injuries caused to Tomar.

A senior police official said murder charges will be now added to the case.

Blaming the protesters for Tomar’s death, his son Deepak alleged that protesters brutally beat up his father.

“The public is responsible for this because they beat him up so badly. Can they return my father?” he said.

Tomar’s brother Yudhveer Singh also echoed similar views and said, “What was his fault? He was only doing his job and now he is no more.”

The policeman’s another brother Devinder Singh said, “His family has no other source of income. He was very committed to his duty.”


#Delhigangrape: Victim fighting to get better, but remains critical

DELHI, Updated Dec 20, 2012 at 07:21am IST

New Delhi: The condition of the 23-year-old paramedical student, who was gangraped, beaten and thrown out of a moving bus along with a male friend in Delhi, is still critical. Doctors say that she is still on ventilator support and is fighting to get better. The victim has in fact given a complete written statement to the police, explaining in detail what happened to her from the time she and her friend got onto the bus on Sunday.

One of the two absconding suspects was on Wednesday detained for questioning in Aurangabad, Bihar. Meanwhile, three of the accused were produced in a Delhi court on Wednesday and confessed. One of the accused, Vinay Sharma, went on to plead for a death sentence.

Vinay Sharma, an assistant gym instructor and Pawan Gupta, a fruit seller have been sent for custodial interrogation while Mukesh, who was allegedly driving the bus when the crime was being committed, has been sent to Tihar Jail in judicial custody after he agreed to undergo test identification parade (TIP). Mukesh is the brother of another accused Ram Singh, who was on Tuesday remanded to five-day police custody after he refused to undergo TIP.

Vinay and Pawan, however, have refused to undergo TIP, the criminal procedure in which the alleged offender is brought before witnesses and victims for identification. After being produced before Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Namrita Aggarwal, the trio were sent to court of Metropolitan Magistrate Sandeep Garg for following the procedure for conducting the TIP.

When the judge asked whether they would volunteer to undergo TIP and if not why, Vinay said, “he had beaten up the boy but did nothing with the girl” and went on to say “mujhe faansi de do (hang me)”, while Pawan told the court, “I do not want to undergo TIP as I have committed a horrible act”. The magistrate after completing the process for the TIP said,”Accused Mukesh has submitted that he wanted to undergo TIP. Police be directed to conduct his TIP on December 20 at 3 pm Central Jail, Tihar.”

Meanwhile, a team of Delhi Police has detained Akshay Thakur, who is also accused in the gangrape case, in Bihar’s Aurangabad district. The accused had absconded to his native place after committing the crime along with five others, four of whom have already been arrested. One of the accused is still on the run and police teams are trying to trace him.

Both the victim, a paramedical student, and her male friend, who had boarded the chartered bus with tinted glass windows from Munirka in south Delhi to Palam around 9.45 PM on Sunday night, were assaulted with an iron rod by the men after the two resisted before they were dumped on the road side near Mahipalpur flyover, police said.

The victim continues to fight for her life. Doctors treating her say some of her vital organs have been permanently damaged and she’s suffering from a blood infection. She has been on ventilator support now for over 60 hours now. A medical bulletin is expected on Wednesday evening.

(With additional inputs from PTI)


#Shame #India- rape will go on- #delhigangrape #Vaw #Torture

TEHELKA INVESTIGATION: The rapes will go on

G Vishnu , Tehelka

Abhishek Bhalla

December 19, 2012, Issue 15 Volume 9

In a two-week long investigation, Abhishek Bhalla and G Vishnu spoke to more than 30 senior cops in the Delhi-NCR region. More than half had shockingly ugly views on rape victims. This is the face of law exposed. How can the system effect justice through men like these?

She asked for it.
It’s all about money.
They have made it a business.
It is consensual most of the time.

Illustration: Anand NaoremIllustration: Anand Naorem

THIS IS how policemen — keepers of the law and protectors of innocent — view rape in the Delhi– National Capital Region (NCR). Although generalising is fraught with hazards, this is one generalisation that can be made. There’s evidence to support this.

A month ago, the outrageous apathy of our police towards rape victims was in full display when the Noida Police revealed the identity of a minor girl who was brutally gang-raped in a moving car. If that was not enough, the Noida Superintendent of Police cast aspersions on the girl’s character at a press conference. Besides the fact that, by doing so, the police flagrantly violated the law of the land — Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code defines the disclosure of the identity of rape victims as an offence punishable by up to two years of imprisonment — it also gave a peek into the minds of the police and how they see the raped and the rapist.
Often been called the rape capital of India, the Delhi-NCR region has thrown up numerous such instances of police apathy in rape cases. When asked to explain the rising instances of rape, the cops have invariably blamed the women, an array of extraneous factors or resorted to specious arguments instead of looking inwards and focussing on police reforms. The most disturbing aspect of this is the rank misogyny that underlies it.A few weeks later, the Gurgaon Police outraged civil society by proposing a blanket curfew on working women in the city after 8 pm without prior permission from the Labour Department. This was the first reaction by the police after the report of a brutal gang-rape of a pub employee by six men. The police made no statement about the rapists. Later, however, the police put out a statement asserting they had been misquoted by the media.

Here is a quick reckoner. In 2010, as many as 414 rape cases were reported in Delhi, the highest among 35 major cities in the country. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the conviction rate in rape cases in the capital was a dismal 34.6 percent. In case after case, courts have been acquitting the accused because of flawed first information reports (FIRs), erroneous procedures in collating medical evidence and shoddy investigation. Lawyers and women rights activists have continually been flagging the deep prejudice prevalent in the police against women in general and rape victims in particular, as the single biggest reason for the repeated failure of justice.

But instead of addressing core issues like poor conviction rates, under-reporting of rape cases by victims (studies indicate that for every reported case of rape, more than 50 go unreported), the lack of faith between the victim and the police and the insensitivity of the police personnel towards women, our police and ministers want to ban late-night work shifts or keep women away from unconventional jobs like bartenders.

Sunil Kumar  SHO, Ghazipur, Delhi-NCRSunil Kumar SHO, Ghazipur, Delhi-NCR

Sunil Kumar 

SHO, Ghazipur, Delhi-NCR

‘Go to a pub in Greater Kailash, South Delhi, where there’s free entry for girls. You’ll find those who want to do ‘it’ for a thousand rupees. They’ll drink and also have sex with you. But the day someone uses force, it’s rape’

Rajan Bhagat Additional DCP PRO, Delhi PoliceRajan Bhagat Additional DCP PRO, Delhi Police

‘There is sensitisation at the induction level as well as specialised courses on the job. The objective is to handle women in crisis. In these courses, officers are apprised with latest court orders’

Rajan Bhagat
Additional DCP PRO, Delhi Police

HAVE WE created a system that instills fear in the heart of offenders, promotes deterrence and ensures that offenders get exemplary punishment? While we may have excellent statutes to deal with crimes against women, do we also have the police machinery to implement the law in its letter and spirit? Are police stations of the NCR being manned by professional and efficient police officers who can deliver justice to hapless women turning up at their doors?

TEHELKA decided to investigate the conduct and approach of Station House Officers (SHOs) and their deputies who are in charge of police stations in the NCR. These cops are the first point of contact for any victim of sexual assault when they have to lodge a complaint. The objective was to find out if there was any latent bias among the police personnel towards rape victims.

In a two-week long investigation, TEHELKA undercover reporters posing as research scholars, visited 23 stations across the NCR and spoke to more than 30 policemen with experience of 20-30 years. The reporters did not make misogynistic comments or incite the policemen to say or do something they wouldn’t have otherwise said or done. The line of inquiry was to be completely neutral and non-partisan. And what we came back with was shocking.

Our two week long investigation reveals that the NCR, which houses some of the leading industries from around the world and where lakhs of women work alongside men, is policed by the cops with a 19th century mindset.

Every time a rape accused gets away due to shoddy investigations, it reinforces the cops’ belief: she had asked for it

Seventeen senior cops of over a dozen police stations across Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad were caught on spy camera blaming everything from fashionable or revealing clothes to having boyfriends to visiting pubs to consuming alcohol to working alongside men as the main reasons for instances of rape. ‘It’s always the woman who is at fault’ was in essence the argument offered by a majority of the cops. Many of them believe that genuine rape victims never approach the police and those who do are basically extortionists or have loose moral values. Others believe that the women from Northeast could never be victims of forced sex as they are invariably involved in the flesh trade. Even more shockingly, some of them are of the view that if a woman has consensual sex with one man, then she shouldn’t complain if his friends also join in. If a woman is doing late hours at the office then she had it coming… and the arguments keep coming.

IF THE police personnel are to be believed, everything from co-education to migration to cities to being independent and assertive and holding unconventional jobs are reasons for the rise in rape incidents across NCR. So mind-numbing are these admissions that one cannot help but wonder about the plight of the rape victims in mofussil towns and villages if the police in and around the capital is so deeply prejudiced. The TEHELKA expose warrants an urgent soul-searching at the highest levels of the police administration and demands immediate corrective steps in the police training and investigation.

Sample what Sunil Kumar, SHO, Ghazipur, East Delhi, had to say. “Go to a pub in South Delhi. Go to Greater Kailash where there is free entry for girls. Jinhone 1,000 rupaiye mein wo karna hai wo wahan jati hain. Daru bhi peeti hai aur aap ke saath sex bhi karti hai… Jis din koi thok dega rape ho jayega. (In these places you’ll find girls who want to do ‘it’ for Rs 1,000. They will drink and also have sex with you. The day somebody uses force, it becomes rape).”

THE FARCE Rajpal Yadav Add’l SHO, Sector 29, Gurgaon  ‘Girls from Darjeeling and Nepal have come here for business purposes. They go with men for money, but if the money isn’t enough, it becomes rape’THE FARCE: Rajpal Yadav Add’l SHO, Sector 29, Gurgaon ‘Girls from Darjeeling and Nepal have come here for business purposes. They go with men for money, but if the money isn’t enough, it becomes rape’

Sub-Inspector Arjun Singh, SHO Surajpur Police Station, Greater Noida, also pins the blame on the victim. “Ladkiya ek seemit daire main, seemit kapdon main nahi niklengi… to apne aap khichaon ho jata hai.Wo khichaon bhi aggressive kar deta hai ki kar do bas (If girls don’t stay within their boundaries, if they don’t wear appropriate clothes, then naturally there is attraction. This attraction makes men aggressive, prompting them to just do it).”

There’s also ethnic bias against those from the Northeast. Try RajpalYadav, Additional SHO of Sector 29, Gurgaon: “Yahan pe Darjeeling aur Nepal tak ki ladkiyan business purpose se aye hai… wo jaate bhade pe hain. Baad mein paisa nahi mila to rape case bata diya jata hai (Girls from Darjeeling and Nepal have come here for business purposes. They go with men for money. Later, when the money is not sufficient, it becomes a rape).”

In the two-week long investigation, TEHELKA undercover reporters visited five police stations in Gurgaon, six in Noida, four in Ghaziabad, two in Faridabad and six in Delhi. Out of the 30 policemen TEHELKA spoke to, 17 were extremely prejudiced, misogynist and shockingly insensitive towards rape victims. Five scored well on the enlightenment card.

DESPITE THE Noida Police facing flak for lewd comments about the victim and her family, Ram Kumar Malik, the investigating officer for the case of the girl raped by Class X students is unrepentant. TEHELKA captured Sub-Inspector Malik on camera brazenly pinning the blame yet again on the victim alone: “Is case mein jo real baat hai, ladki vodka peene ki habitual hai. Usne vodka party mangi, Rs 6,000 mein book ho gai. Physical relation ke liye 6,000 mange. Baad mein mukadma likha diya. Yeh real baat hai. Mere pass uske CDR call detail ka record hai; unka purana relation hai (The real issue here is that the girl is a habitual vodka drinker and had asked for a vodka party. She then demanded Rs 6,000 for sex. When the money wasn’t paid, she registered a rape complaint. I have her call records that establish she had a relationship with one of the accused).” Pointless to ask him how having a consensual relationship with one boy could warrant a girl being raped by 4 other boys.

Malik then turns his guns on the family and character of the girl: “Is ladki ki ma ka pehle hi divorce ho gaya. Aur wo ek Yadavji ke saath beth gayi. Uski umar 48 hai, admi 28 saal ka. Saath mein do ladkiyan. Behekna to tei ho gaya. Nahi ho gaya? (The girl’s mother is divorced. She’s living with another man from the Yadav community. She’s 48 whereas the man is 28. It’s inevitable the two daughters will be wayward, isn’t it?)

“Ab jab 48 saal ki ma, 28 saal ke purush ke saath so rahi hai, do jawan ladkiyan dekh rahi hain, unko bhi zaroorat hogi. Sex is like hunger,” he continues. (Now when two young girls watch their 48-year-old mother sleeping with a 28-year-old man, even they’ll be aroused. Sex is like hunger).”

Blaming the victim, however, is not limited to Malik. The attitude was generic and TEHELKA found many more subscribers in the system.

Digest what Jangsher Singh, SHO of the DLF Phase-2 Police Station, who is investigating the recent rape case of the 23-year-old pub worker, says:“Isme kuch nahi hai. Chote chote bacche the… Do baar ladki ne baat ki ladkon se. Compromise karna hai toh compromise karlo. Ladki ne khud bol diya… money toh hai hi yaar. Money ke saath sauda kiya jaata hai (This case is nothing. They were young kids. The girl spoke twice to the boys about striking a ‘compromise’. It’s all about money. It’s only with money deals are stuck).”

Jangsher makes it plain there was more than a hint of consensual sex in the Gurgaon gang-rape: “Cooperation hai. Bahut kam hai main manta hoon; one ya two percent jisme nahi hota…Consent main hi hua yeh (The girls cooperate. I believe it’s very rare that there will be no cooperation… This case too had the girl’s consent).”

Ram Kumar Malik Sub-Inspector and Investigating officer of a rape case in Noida PoliceRam Kumar Malik, Sub-Inspector and Investigating officer of a rape case in Noida Police

Ram Kumar Malik

Sub-Inspector and Investigating officer of a rape case in Noida Police

‘When two young girls see their 48-year-old divorced mother sleeping with a 28-year-old man, they’ll go wayward only. Even they’ll be aroused’

KK Sindhu Police Commissioner, GurgaonKK Sindhu Police Commissioner, Gurgaon

‘Gender sensitivity is part of training and in cases involving women, the issue is always handled by a female officer. In any case, women victims come to us with male family members’

KK Sindhu
Police Commissioner, Gurgaon

DISTURBINGLY, IN an endlessly frightening reiteration, the Gurgaon gang-rape case appears in the conversation of the Gurgaon Police only as a leitmotif of the girl’s culpability. TEHELKA captured conversations with the SHO as well as the additional SHO of Sector-29 Police Station, who otherwise have nothing to do with the ongoing investigation. Commenting on the girl’s character, SHO Jagdish Prasad said: “In the recent DLF case, the girl is 27-years-old, the boys are 18 to 20-years-old. They are kids. She was dancing with these kids in the bar… I am telling you she induced them… The girl came and gave her phone number to them.”

The big question that comes out of this is: if the police in the Delhi metropolitan area — with its exposure to modern idioms and supposed sensitivity to individual rights — nurtures such a mindset, what about the average cop in the hinterland? The thought is terrifying: is rape India’s most under-reported crime? Does anybody seriously believe that less than 25,000 women get raped in India each year?

The explanation for gang-rapes is bizarre. She must have been friendly with at least one of the rapists, goes the refrain

The officers TEHELKA encountered do not fulfil the basic standards of policing, which requires officers to investigate a case without any cultural, class or gender bias. Rather, the contrary seems true. Empathy for a rape victim seems an impossible ask. But in its place, there isn’t even neutrality. Everywhere, the dominant belief was that the woman was in the wrong and had invited assault upon herself. TEHELKA’s investigation, then, is not about individual viewpoints. It reveals a damagingly contorted psyche.

CAN YOU dress for rape? A great number of policemen believe that what a woman wears is one of the reasons for rape. A conservatively dressed woman is safe, but if her clothes are “suggestive”, then she’s asking for it. This is the norm.

Agar koi bhi bacche ko kisi ladki ka shareer kapdon ke andar se dikhega to usme uttejna paida hogi…Ladkiya jo hai unko yahan tak yahan tak (he gestures to mean that women should cover their entire body, then carries on speaking)… Skirt pehenti hai. Blouse dalti hai; poora nahi dalti hai. Dupatta nahi dalti. Apne aapko dikhawa karti hai. Baccha uske taraf akarshit hota hai (If a girl is wearing transparent clothes it will encourage lewd thoughts in any kid. Girls wear short skirts. They wear a blouse that leaves nothing to the imagination. They don’t wear dupattas. They flaunt their bodies. The kid naturally gets attracted to her),” says Satbir Singh, Additional SHO of Sector 31 Police Station, Faridabad.

Making a general sociological observation, Sub-Inspector Arjun Singh, SHO of Surajpur Police Station, Greater Noida, also said: “Yeh (girl) itne kapde pehni hui hai; wo isiliye taaki log “mujhse akarshit ho aur mere saath kuch na kuch kare”. Isiliye ho jaati hai(She is dressed in a manner that people get attracted to her. In fact, she wants them to do something to her.)”

DO RAPES really happen? Many policemen are not even sure. Recognition of a crime as heinous as rape is something the police in the NCR do not appear to have come to terms with. Policeman after policeman insisted “real rape” cases were rare.

TEHELKA asked Yogender Singh Tomar, Additional SHO, Sector 39, Noida, if it was easy for a rape victim to approach the police. His answer left us shocked: “Aasaan nahi hota uske liye. Bezzati se sabhi darti hai. Akhbaar baazi se bhi darti hai. Asliyat main wahin aati hai jo dhande main lipt hoti hai (It’s never easy for the victim. Everyone is scared of humiliation. Everyone’s wary of media and society. In reality, the ones who complain are only those who have turned rape into a business).”

Sub-Inspector Roop Lal of Sector 40, Gurgaon, goes to the extent of making a distinction between a genuine and a fake rape. “Main rape cases, only 10 percent. Bilkul jo zabardasti rape hota hai, 10 percent. Baaki ke toh… (Only 10 percent of rape cases actually involve force; only 10 percent are genuine. The rest is…).” He leaves his sentence incomplete. It’s not difficult to understand what he wanted to say.

Roop Lal’s crudity is mirrored by other fellow officers. Two senior cops, Rajender Singh, Additional SHO of Old Faridabad Police Station, and Ramesh Kumar, senior sub inspector, are convinced rape cases generally involve consensual sex: “Hote hain par 70 percent aise hain, ki pehle sehmati ho gayi. Uske baad kisi ne dekh liya ya, usne paise dene se mana kar diya, toh woh balatkar ho gaya (There are cases but 70 percent involve consensual sex. Only if someone sees, or the money is denied, it gets turned into rape).”

From the point of view of cops, this begs the question: do rapes really happen? Again, bewildering as it may sound, 17 of the 30 policemen were convinced they rarely do.

Consider young Sub-Inspector Manoj Rawat of Noida’s Sector 24 Police Station.

Kya NCR mein rape hote hain? Akhbar mein nahi, fact pe aa jao. NCR mein har cheez mutual understanding se hoti hai. Mera personal view, one ya two percent NCR mein rape hote hain… Apas ki understanding hai, nahi ban paya, jahan 2 tha, wahan 3 ho gaye (Are there any rapes in NCR? Go by facts and not by what newspapers say. Everything in NCR happens with mutual understanding. My personal view is that there are one or two percent rape cases in NCR. If the understanding falls through, the exaggeration begins. Two becomes three).”

When it comes to gang-rapes, the explanation is even more bizarre. While the policemen admit that force is used, again the blame is pinned on the victim. She must have been friendly with at least one of the perpetrators goes the refrain.

Dharamveer Singh, Additional SHO at Indirapuram Police Station in Ghaziabad, said: “Bahut kum, minimum hota hai. Rare hota hai ki ek ladki ko 10 ladke zabardasti pakad le… car mein bhi koi innocent ladki nahi gayi hai. Wahi gayi jo kisi ladke ke saath sambandhit zaroor hai (It’s very rare that a girl is forcefully picked up by 10 boys. A girl who gets into a car with boys is never innocent. If she does, she definitely has a relationship with at least one of them).”

There is a sweeping consensus in listing ‘indecent’ clothing as a primary cause for rape, followed closely by ‘behaviour’

Roop Lal of Sector 40, Gurgaon, sought to find a rationale to the occurrence of gang-rape: “Jaise hum log baithe hai, zyaada daaru pee li. Chalte peeli. Behnchodh, phekh saala, phir to aise hi hoga. Raat bhar rakh li. Uska jawab kya degi wo apne gharwalon ko, ki jo ek ghante ke liye keh kar gayi hai, aur poori night main kahan gayi thi. To maa-baap to poochenge, bhai bhi poochega. Jinka samaaj hai woh to poochte hai (Say we are sitting and had one drink too many while on the move… it’s obvious that it’ll happen. Keep her for the entire night. What will she tell her parents? She was supposed to be away for an hour and has ended up being out the entire night. Parents will question, so will her brother. Society will ask questions.”

RK Sisodia, Additional SHO of Sector 20 Noida Police Station, had an entirely different opinion on the authenticity of rape cases. He was the only one to say that very few rape cases in NCR are false or questionable in nature. It was almost a surprise to hear him.

SEVERAL POLICE officers believe it’s a woman’s behaviour that is a prime reason and if it were not for “provocation” from her end, rapes wouldn’t happen.

When asked about sensitisation in the police, Inspector Sunil Kumar of Delhi Police shrugged away the query, saying rape is anyway the girl’s fault, particularly if she is a ‘Delhi girl’: “If a girl living in Delhi doesn’t want this trauma she will not encourage it. Suppose you are two people and I am a girl dating you both. I am flirting with one person and ignoring you, then after I see you jealous, I come to you. Then one day when he (the other person) is drunk, he might come with two-three friends and ask me to join him. I will then go with him with my wish. In a fit of vindictiveness, he will try to have sex with me, with or without my wish. But first, it is my fault because I courted disaster. No rape can happen in Delhi without the girl’s provocation.

Kumar had painted a scenario a script writer of a soap opera would find hard to concoct. Yet he believed — absolutely believed — this was everyday reality in large sections of Delhi society. Indeed, it appears as though there is almost a sweeping consensus in listing a woman’s “indecent” clothing as a primary cause for rape, followed closely by her “behaviour”, ranging from what they deemed promiscuous to just plain assertiveness. It’s almost as if a woman wearing a sari or a salwar kameez is never raped – though empirical evidence clearly suggests otherwise.

Sub-Inspector Roop Lal in Gurgaon even asked if women didn’t have a mind of their own. He explained his hypothesis: “Birthday ke sambandh main party do… aur woh akeli ladki hai, un teeno ke saath jaa rahi hai, aur dekh rahi hai ki saale daaru bhi pee rahe hai saath main. To yeh bilkul ladies ko pata hai is baat ka, ki kya hoga. Jab wo khud hi party karne lagi hai, to wo rape nahi keh sakte. Rape kaise kahoge? Daaru ke sang unke saath baith rahi hai… to dimag to tere main bhi hai, jab tu chatra hai kisliye party mang rahi hai, kisliye inke saath jaa rahi hai? (If a girl asks for a birthday party and is alone with 2-3 boys and sees they are drinking, she knows what is likely to happen. When she herself goes for such a party, she can’t complain of rape. How can you call it rape if she is sitting and drinking with them? You are a student and have brain of your own. Why are you going out with them?)”

IT’S ALL about money.” If this is not enough to shock you, a majority of the policemen said rape is used as a blackmailing tool to extort money. More than 17 officers spoke about a supposedly dirty nexus of money, mal-intent, compromises and sex.

Arjun Singh SHO, Surajpur Police Station, Greater NoidaArjun Singh, SHO, Surajpur Police Station, Greater Noida

Arjun Singh
SHO, Surajpur Police Station, Greater Noida

‘If girls don’t stay within their boundaries, if they don’t wear appropriate clothes, then naturally there is attraction. This attraction makes men aggressive, prompting them to just do it (rape)’

Praveen kumar SSP, NoidaPraveen Kumar, SSP, Noida

‘Although a module on gender issues for new recruits exists, there are no training programmes. Public-police ratio has to increase only then can we spare them for courses in gender sensitivity’

Praveen kumar SSP, Noida

Satbir Singh, Additional SHO of Sector 31 Police Station, Faridabad has completed 27 years in service and investigated around 20 rape cases. He believes half of all rape charges were false. He was unapologetic about questioning the intent of rape victims when they came to file complaints: “One lakh. Two lakh. Fifty lakh. Logon ko ye pata chal gaya hai ki ye achcha paisa kamaane ka dhanda hai… business hai. Income source dhoond liya hai logon ne. Aam baat hai… kharcha nahi hota. Money nahi hote.Gharwale kharch ke liye paise nahi dete.Wo phir razabandi se kaam chalta hai(People have understood this is a lucrative trade for women; it’s business. They’ve found an income source. It’s common; you’re short of money, your parents don’t give you money to spend. You make compromises).”

THE FARCE Satbir Singh Add’l SHO, Sector-31 Police Station, Faridabad  ‘If a girl wears revealing clothes, it will encourage lewd thoughts in any kid. They wear short skirts, blouse, they don’t wear dupattas, they flaunt their bodies. The kid naturally will get attracted to her’THE FARCE Satbir Singh Add’l SHO, Sector-31 Police Station, Faridabad ‘If a girl wears revealing clothes, it will encourage lewd thoughts in any kid. They wear short skirts, blouse, they don’t wear dupattas, they flaunt their bodies. The kid naturally will get attracted to her’

Vijay Kumar, a young sub-inspector working under Satbir Singh, also shares similar views. Amazingly, so does Rajbala, a young lady investigating officer at the station. “90 percent to aise hi hote hai…” she said, as SHO Satbir talks about money being the biggest factor behind rape cases.

Sector 29 Police Station, as it’s SHO Jagdish Prasad points out, registered 10 rape cases from 2005-2010. Conviction happened in two of them. Here too, it’s troubling to see two young, 20-something English-speaking Sub-Inspectors, Naveen and Vipin, have deep prejudices against independent women. “It’s all for enjoyment,” said Vipin at one point, supporting his senior’s argument.

This kind of gender stereotyping is not limited to the outskirts of the NCR. In the heart of Delhi, Inspector Sunil Kumar, SHO of Ghazipur Police Station was similarly judgmental: “Someone will say I will give you Rs 1,000 or Rs 2,000 but afterwards they give Rs 500. Then it becomes rape. And no one in the world will listen to me. I might say she asked for Rs 1,000, I gave Rs 500. But our law says very clearly — if a girl says she was raped then she was raped. No excuses there. It is final.” His tone was sympathetic — to the person charged with rape.

Apart from a general suspicion towards any woman who complains of rape, the class bias was unmistakable in several stations — the argument being insensitive enough to be seen as condoning the act. Rape victims from poor backgrounds are looking for money, and the ones from affluent families are simply wayward and easy: it’s all so neat.

Oonche gharon ki ladkiyan hain; jinke saath setting hoti hai uske saath chali jati hai, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 rupiyo ke liye (These girls are from affluent families; they go with anyone who they have a setting with for money),” said Additional Sub-Inspector Vikas Kumar of Sector 29 Police Station in Gurgaon. His colleague and Additional SHO of the station, Rajpal Yadav also had his reasoning for rape cases involving women from affluent classes; “Sharaab bhi peeti hain ladkiyan… log fayda toh uthainge hi. Hookah bar, smack, ganja, nasha, tambakoo (These girls tend to drink… people will naturally take advantage. They do everything from hookah bars to smack to ganja and tobacco).”

When it comes to victims from economically backward families, the comments get cruder. For instance, Yoginder Singh Tomar of Noida believed rapes happened only among lower castes and lower classes: “Upper caste toh nahi aati. Upper caste ki to mukkadma hi darj nahi hota. Aata hi nahi koi. Hota hi nahi hai. Ab hota hoga toh humaare paas nahi aa rahe hai (Upper caste people never file rape complaints. Rape never happens there. If it happens, it never comes to us).”

THE BAGGAGE of cultural prejudice a policeman carries to the police station is not only unprofessional but also dangerous as it ensures a bias from the very onset of an investigation. This invariably leads to loopholes in the probe and becomes a road-block in deliverance of justice. If investigators are to be believed, their experience of rape cases has given them an understanding that everything from co-education to alcohol, films and comfortable relationships are prime reasons for rape.

Yahan log bahar se aaye hain… Filmon main dekh rahe hai. Bilkul nangapan saa aagaya hai yahan par. Filmon ko dekh kar yeh sab ho raha hai; nashe ki aadat pad gayi hai. Bahar se aye hue hain woh apne culture koh jo Indian culture hai usko chhod rahe hain (People have come from outside. They watch films and get influenced. There is complete nudity; people have taken to alcohol. Also, outsiders, from outside NCR, have forgotten Indian culture),” is Sub-Inspector Rajpal Yadav’s rationale for rapes.

How can such a police force discharge its constitutional duty of prosecuting sex offenders successfully?

HOWEVER, IN Delhi, TEHELKA found that of the six stations it visited, three had police officers who were professional and sensitised towards cases of violence against women. Additional SHO, Inspector Thakeshwar Singh of Sangam Vihar Police Station, pointed out there were compromises between the victim’s side and the perpetrator’s side but not necessarily due to money: “There’s social stigma attached to a rape victim, making it difficult for her to tirelessly pursue the case.”

THE FARCE Yogender Singh Tomar  Add’l SHO, Sector 39 Police Station, Noida  ‘It’s never easy for the victim. Everyone is scared of humiliation. Everyone’s wary of media and society. In reality, the ones who complain are those who have made rape a business’  THE FARCE Yogender Singh Tomar Add’l SHO, Sector 39 Police Station, Noida ‘It’s never easy for the victim. Everyone is scared of humiliation. Everyone’s wary of media and society. In reality, the ones who complain are those who have made rape a business’

The Delhi Police insists it has a gender sensitivity programme in place. There is a rape crisis intervention centre in every district and a women’s help desk in every police station. “There is sensitisation at the induction level as well as promotional and specialised courses on the job. The objective is to handle women in crisis. In these courses officers are apprised with latest court orders,” said Additional DCP Rajan Bhagat, PRO Delhi Police.

Yet inside these police stations and behind those nice-sounding phrases is a much harsher reality. The lack of training and sensitisation is evident. Praveen Kumar, SSP Noida, felt there was need for sensitisation at the working level. “Although there is a module on gender issues for new recruits, there are no training programmes for people in service. There is training at the induction level but not at short intervals since there is shortage of manpower. If those policemen are sent for training who would man the police posts? Public-police ratio has to increase only then can we spare them for courses in gender sensitivity,” he said.

However, Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon, KK Sindhu felt there was no real need for sensitisation as all cases related to women were handled by ladies. The Gurgaon Police chief was of the opinion that women were usually accompanied by men if they had to visit a police station. “Women are inseparable from family in an Indian set-up. There is always a male accompanying them to a police station. Gender sensitivity is part of training and, in cases involving women, the issue is always handled by a woman investigating officer.”

GIVEN THAT these extremely disturbing attitudes exist in agencies that are meant for the protection of harassed women, it comes as little surprise that rapes continue unabated. Six rape cases were reported from different parts of the NCR during the two weeks TEHELKA reporters were out in the field meeting policemen. While the men in uniform have a spectrum of reasons to rationalise rise in rape occurrence, there is little acknowledgment of the fact that perhaps better policing and instilling a fear of the law among the perpetrators could make women feel that much safer.

This prejudice breeds a vicious cycle. It makes investigation slothful and lackadaisical and as a result the conviction rate in rape cases is appallingly low. This, in turn, allows potential sex criminals to get away with anything, even an open-and-shut case of rape. And each time this happens, to the average policeman it only reinforces what he thinks he already knows: “She asked for it.”

Abhishek Bhalla is a Senior Special Correspondent with Tehelka.

G Vishnu is a Correspondent with Tehelka.


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