Women unsafe in UP; 5 raped, one killed
15 sexually assaulted in Lucknow in a month
Four women have been raped, one killed and two have been subjected to acid attacks from spurned lovers in the last 24 hours. Police are blaming declining social values for the crime graph.
A Dalit minor girl was gang raped in Sonebhadra after which her head was smashed by a blunt object and her body dumped in a field. The same day, two sisters in Bardad village in Basti faced an acid attack from a spurned lover. While one escaped with minor injuries, the other girl is admitted to a medical facility with severe burn injuries on her face and body.
On the same day, a hearing-impaired girl was raped in Ballia. In Chandausi, another hearing-impaired 12-year-old was raped. After a traumatic battle with death, she passed away on Friday evening. Police admit that such cases of rape attempts are on the rise but say there is nothing they can do.
“This is a serious social issue which needs to be addressed in the same fashion,” said a police official who added that rapes should not be seen as a law and order issue alone.
In at least four cases, the victims have levelled rape charges on police constables and other mid-rung police officials. Lucknow senior superintendent of police J Ravindra Gour has undertaken an exercise in course correction and has begun a training module under the civil emergency reserve (CER) at the city police lines.
Policemen are being told how to conduct themselves. “There are aberrations everywhere but then we are trying to initiate a process of self-correction in the force and we hope to succeed,” he said.
The tragedy is that vigilante groups are emerging to give out kangaroo justice. Lucknow has a ‘Red Brigade’ with over 100 teenage girls coming together against sexual assaults and teasing. The group trains young women in self defence besides espousing the cause of their security.
IGP Raj Kumar Vishwakarma said, “While one may have a right of self defence, you cannot be allowed to retaliate later and make a mockery of legal systems.”
Women activists counter him. “If somebody harasses us day in and day out, and police do not listen to our pleas, what are we expected to do? Get raped?” fumes Amita Sharma, an activist sensitising young women against sexual abuse.
A 35-year-old married woman was allegedly raped by the driver of a truck in which she was returning from Saifayi area of Etah district, police said on Saturday.
The accused truck driver Awadesh was on his way to Kurawali in Mainpuri area of the district when he gave a lift to the victim on May 9, they said.
In the absence of the truck conductor Ghamandi Singh, the accused raped the woman and later handed her over to Singh, who dropped her in her native village, police said. A manhunt has been launched to nab the culprit who has been absconding.