Recent incidents of sexual violence of a toddler and a 4-year old in Delhi have sparked public anger and protests across the capital over the government’s failure to curb chronic violence against women and girls.
A 4-year old residing in Anand Vihar was brutally raped by three men a week ago that left her with extensive injuries to her intestines and private parts apart from bruises all over the body. The child was lured from outside her home by the men who were later handed over to the police by the locals. In another shocking incident, 2-year old toddler was sexually assaulted by two 17-year old teens on in Nangloi, Delhi on Friday. The tot who had gone with her grandmother to watch the Ramleela performance went missing during a brief power failure and was later found profusely bleeding and unconscious in the nearby park. The teens one of whom was known to the child’s family resided in the same neighbourhood as her. Both were arrested on Saturday. A 17-year old girl in Noida, Delhi had committed suicide a few days back after being repeatedly stalked and sexually harassed by three men. She had complained about the eve teasers to the police and their inaction reportedly, led to the incident. The incidents are reminiscent of the fatal Nirbhaya gang rape and murder of December 2012 in which a medical student was raped and tortured in a moving bus. The shocking incident had shamed the nation in front of the world unleashing widespread outrage and protests all across the country and compelling the government to moot harsher laws and toughen punishment for rapists and overhaul policing to better protect women and children. Despite the repeated incidents and existing laws, Delhi soon turned into a ‘rape capital’.
While 1441 rape cases were registered in 2013, 1813 cases were filed in 2014 making a total of 15, 265 crimes against women during the last year. The Centre seemingly, is least bothered about the rising crime rates against the women with over 6 out of every one lakh in the capital becoming a victim of such assaults. Being the country’s capital, the responsibility of law and order in Delhi is in the hands of the Central government. The Modi government, who initiated laudable campaigns like Swachch Bharat and construction of toilets for women, has failed to stop the atrocities against women and girl children. In 2014, charges of rape were registered only on 9 persons much to the dislike of Aravind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi. kejriwal had pointed a finger at the Modi government and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung who were responsible for the law and order in the capital saying that the Centre was focused on political games and not in ensuring the safety of the lives of people. He has also demanded the control over the Delhi police. The recent remark of a Karnataka Minister towards a woman journalist had ignited public anger and reiterates the triviality with which the BJP approaches the matter.
While there are Sangh Parivar leaders who order the killing of innocent people for rumours of consuming and storing cow meat as well as their sale, there are senior Ministers who put forth stringent laws for saving stray dogs. None of them are concerned about the brutal incidents of violence against women and children. Delhi is a melting pot of people from different states and cultures who migrated to the capital, the reason why it ranks first in sexual violence against women along with other crimes. The government should comprehend the realities and moot facilities and measures to increase the safety of women and adopt harsh steps to counter the anti-social elements in the society. The law and order in the capital has always suffered due to the inefficiency of the government as well the police. The Centre has been turning a deaf ear towards the repeated requests of handing over the law and order of Delhi to the state government. The Lt Governor, who has to take steps to formulate a balanced mode of action, is not in good terms with the Kejriwal government. It’s the people who bear the brunt of these inactions. Last year’s records prove that no further actions are taken after registering a case. Failure to ensure the primary responsibility of maintaining law and order in the capital which is the centre of the country would only render Modi’s exaggerating speeches abroad about Digital India, bootless.