By Vanya Mehta, TwoCircles.net
This article is part of a monthly series Reporting Rape in which we will aggregate the media coverage on atrocities against women, whether rape or sexual assault. Through monthly monitoring of the news reports,TwoCircles.net will be able to reveal some patterns in the regions where rape is reported most often and frequency of incidents of sexual violence since the Verma Commission’s report and the Delhi gang rape of 2012.
Sixty nine atrocities against women appeared in the headlines this month, doubling the reported rapes from January of this year. Of these, 30 were gang rapes. Thirty nine of the victims were minors. Police arrests were made in the majority of the cases.
The relation of the woman to the attacker was identified in 50 of the 69 cases. Of those 50, the attacker was a known acquaintance, family member, or known relation of the victim in 36 instances.
Thirteen of the cases took place in New Delhi. The rest were scattered throughout the country with a higher concentration of reporting in northern states. Three rapes took place each in Rajkot, Gujarat; Pune, Maharashtra; and Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
Five of the cases came out of Gujarat, which is about average for other states. Eight were in Uttar Pradesh and eight in Maharashtra. Six rape cases were in Jharkhand. Four rape reports came from Madhya Pradesh, four from West Bengal, five in Chhattisgarh, and only 1 came from Bihar. Six cases came from Rajasthan, including an ongoing media coverage of a local court’s investigation into the former Chief Minister of Rajasthan Babu Lal Nagar. A 35 year old woman alleges Mr. Nagar invited her to his bungalow to offer a job and then attacked her on September 11, 2013.
The media did not report any rapes in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland.
This month, two men raped a 17-year-old Dalit minor in Haryana, with a police report filed and no arrests made. The Outlook Magazine article did not report any follow up. Another dalit minor was raped in a village near Rajkot by a farm owner and she committed suicide on February 7. The minor was pregnant. Her parents were agricultural laborers. Kalu Kanejia, the accused farm owner, is currently on the run.
Sandeep Kohli, a Lucknow-based businessman and owner of apparel store Kohli Brothers, is reportedly on the run after being accused of raping a young woman. The incident occurred on February 13, while the report in Times of India was published on February 26 THe family allegedly took three days to report the case. Mr. Kohli has filed for bail in Patiala Court in Delhi.
A 40-year-old circus owner in Goa was arrested along with his accomplice for allegedly raping a 14-year-old worker, who was trafficked at the age of one. Three other men in the circus were arrested by the Goa’s women’s police unit for child labour, human trafficking, and bonded labour. The Goa women’s police unit raided the circus on February 28.
A well-known police constable from Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, Santosh Kumar, allegedly forcibly entered a woman’s house and raped her. An investigation was launched around February 7, 2014 to determine whether Mr. Kumar is guilty. She met the constable during an election campaign.
[TCN file photo]
Online comments on some of the cases are predictably accusatory. For example, one case involved a woman who was going on a date at a picnic spot with a man she met on Facebook in Madhya Pradesh on February 6. The couple was attacked allegedly by four men from a nomadic community in a nearby village, who tied up the boy and gang-raped the woman. All four accused of gang rape were found and arrested. In this case, many of the comments on the article accuse the woman of foolishness. She was only 15.
An important case coming out of Chennai involved the rape and murder of a Tata Consultancy Services worker. On February 13, the father reported that her daughter was missing and the police ignored the probe. The arrested rapists were two labourers from West Bengal.
In Hindu city, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, both in January and February three rape cases emerged. Two took place on February 5, one of which involved a 20 year old woman who was raped in Roshanabad and the incident sparked protests, according to the Times of India. The third in January involved a young 13-year-old Dalit girl who was raped and murdered. The Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna allegedly responded to protests by visiting the village and assuring that the accused would be arrested. So far no arrest has been made, according to TOI sources.
[Data collected by Kamrun Nehar, using Google News’s aggregation of English media, both Indian and non-Indian.]