India reports another day of rapes, molestations (Roundup)

Patna/Gurgaon/Bhubaneswar, April 24 (IANS) Rape, molestation and incest Reports of sexual abuse, particularly against minors, came in from several parts of the country Wednesday in another reminder of the increasing vulnerability of women and children.

In two of the cases, fathers were alleged to have abused their daughters. As a five-year-old in the national capital recovered from her injuries after being brutalised by two men, a 26-year-old was arrested from the suburb of Gurgaon for allegedly raping his stepdaughters, aged 7 and 14. Another man was arrested in Odisha’s Puri, a town held sacred by religious Hindus, for molesting and attempting to rape his minor daughter, also 14.

Police in Gurgaon said Sachin had raped his older stepdaughter three months ago. “After some time he sexually assaulted his seven-year-old daughter. Later they shifted to Jagatpuri area of Delhi,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (west) Surender Pal Singh told IANS.

A similar case unravelled in Puri with the arrest of a man, who had been released from jail six months ago and faces several criminal cases, for allegedly molesting his 14-year-old daughter over six months and attempting to rape her.

The teen, who stays with her mother in Puri, about 55 km from Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar, said in her complaint that she had kept quiet hoping that her father would stop. On Sunday, however, she complained to the police when he attempted to rape her while she was asleep.

The offender was arrested Tuesday, Superintendent of Police Anup Sahu told IANS.

And from Bihar came in another tragic story of a mother and daughter being gang-raped in a violent revenge saga. Three people were arrested from West Champaran district for abducting and raping the mother and sister of a youth. This was in revenge for his eloping with the sister of one of the accused, police said.

The attack took place in Sariswa village April 19, but came to light after a case was lodged with the police. Police identified three of the accused and said the hunt was on to nab a fourth.

Taking stock of a four-year-old’s rape in Madhya Pradesh last week, a Bihar court Wednesday gave police from the state three-day transit remand of a 35-year-old power plant worker who allegedly committed the crime.

Firoz Khan, accused of raping a four-year-old girl in Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh, had been arrested from Bihar’s Bhagalpur district Tuesday, police said. He is alleged to have raped her April 17 and dumped her on a farmland in Seoni.

In Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal, courts were looking into yet another case. Two people were sent to judicial custody in the rape and murder case of a 25-year-old research student at the Dayalbagh Educational Institute, a deemed university. Amongst the accused was Udai Swaroop, grandson of the institute’s chairperson Prem Kumar.

Udai and Yashvir, who worked in the same lab where the technician was found murdered last month, were sent to 14 days judicial custody. The body of the PhD student was found in the nanotechnology laboratory March 15.

With cases coming in every day – Uttar Pradesh reported the rapes of four minors in a single day between Monday and Tuesday – the dice appeared to be loaded against women who, socially or otherwise, were most vulnerable.

Or maybe it was the proverbial Pandora’s Box being opened as the nation’s attention focused on the five-year-old victim in Delhi – much like it had after Dec 16 with the rape and subsequent death of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student.

Are more cases coming to light or are more such crimes taking place?

Either way, the government has to battle the figures

Amid the public outcry over the Delhi case, the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) cited government statistics to show a 336 percent increase in cases of child rapes in 10 years — from 2,113 cases in 2001 to 7,112 in 2011.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg as the large majority of child rapes are not reported to police while children regularly become victims of other forms of sexual assault too,” said a statement from ACHR.

In Delhi, now having got the dubious title of being the rape capital of India, 463 rape cases have been registered in the first four and a half months of 2013, indicating an increase of 158 percent over the same period last year.

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