Noida: In Murky waters

After the Nithari killings and the Aarushi murder case which shocked everyone, the recent case of gang rape in Noida has again driven home the fact that the place is far from being safe for women.


The 24 year old management student, who was gang raped on January 6, 2009, by 10 young boys, was returning after shopping in one of the biggest malls in Noida: The Great India Place and she wasn’t alone. Just goes to say that we are not safe even in company.


Four days later, three of the ten accused are still absconding. Meanwhile, despite a public confession from one of the arrested, the village Panchayat of Ghadi Chaukhandi has pronounced all the accused not guilty.


A week ago, an 18 year old girl was abducted from the Sunday Bazaar of Sector 58, raped by three men and allegedly dumped in Ghaziabad. Nothing more needs to be said to prove that the law and order situation is way out of control.


Despite this news being publicized by statements of protest from politicians like Renuka Chaudhary, Minister for Women and Child Development and Amar Singh, National General Secretary Samajwadi Party, I somehow feel that it won’t be long before it becomes stale.


The accused may be arrested and punished, but that alone is hardly enough to make the public feel secure. Lakhs of pending court cases add to the woes. It takes so long to bring the culprits to book, that by then the victim has lost all faith and hope in the system. Also, the victim has to live and relive the horror several times before justice is delivered.


Delayed justice makes for no justice at all. What we need is fast track trials into such cases and stringent punishments that would serve as a deterrent and help in preventing such heinous acts in the future. And its not just about restoring law and order, the general mindset of people needs to be changed and we ought to assume our social responsibility. We have become accustomed to hearing such kind of news every now and then and we only remember it till something bigger doesn’t acquire media attention.


Right from small incidents of ‘accidental’ touching in crowded buses to eve teasing at bus stands and nukkads, every occurrence ignored and forgotten is what fuels statements like “She was just raped, it is not that big a deal.”, issued by Raghuvar Yadav, former Sarpanch of Ghadi Chaukhandi village.


Death penalty to all those accused in rape cases is the common demand by the general public as it would leave no doubts in establishing that the guilty would be dealt with utmost severity. But on the flipside, the imposition of death penalty for rapists could also lead to lack of incentive for the culprits to leave the victim alive. With the sentence for murder and rape being similar, the motive to kill after rape becomes stronger, because the chances of the culprit being identified are lessened by the death of the victim.


Vandita Naroola


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