JAIPUR: The rape of three minors in a single day has shaken Rajasthan - a state that records one of the highest rate of crimes against women in the country.
The most shocking case comes from the state capital Jaipur. A three-year-old innocent girl, happily playing outside her house with her brother and sister, was raped by a drunken monster on a platform near her home.
The incident happened on Monday night at 10 o'clock.
The girl's mother had gone to the toilet and her father had dozed off to sleep. Hearing her daughter screaming and crying, when the mother rushed out she saw their 23 year old neighbour Pawan inflicting the barbaric act on her profusely bleeding daughter.
The mother started beating the monster. After she started taking care of her bleeding daughter lying nearby, Pawan took advantage of the situation and ran off. This incident took place in Kanota town on the outskirts of Jaipur where the victim family stays on rent and works as labourers to earn their bread. The accused Pawan earns his living by loading bricks in the tractor and the infant he assaulted uses to call him an Uncle.
When he approached her with the intention of this heinous act, the girl thought that he had come to play with her. The girl was taken to the police station from where she was referred to Jaipur's Jay Kay Lon hospital and her condition is very serious.
"A team of surgeons and gynaecologists are supervising the treatment of the child", the Deputy Superintendent of Jay Kay Lon hospital informed. But this is not the only dreadful incident involving a minor in Rajasthan - in two other shameful crimes minors were raped in the state on Monday.
A similar incident happened in Napasar town in Bikaner district where the girl's mother has registered a police report that their neighbour took her 8-year-old girl to his house and then raped her.
In another incident in Jaipur, the mother of a 12-year-old has registered a case of rape against the girl's step-father. The FIR states that Faizal had been torturing his step-daughter for quite some time but it was only when the girl complained of severe stomach ache and was taken to the doctor that the mother got to know about the step father's heinous act.
In Barmer district on 21 June, a seven-year-old girl had come to her grandfather's village at Unrod, 100 km from Barmer, along with her mother, to attend a marriage.
Accused Rasheed had consumed liquor with the girl's grandfather. He then abducted the girl and took her to an isolated place, where he raped her and later strangled her to death and threw the body in a dry water tank.
A case was lodged against Rasheed on June 22. Furious people of the city had protested against this heinous incident. During the last 3 years, there has been an alarming rise in the number of cases of such heinous crimes on minors in the state.
According to a report of state home department till now a total of 3897 such cases have been reported in last three years (2015-2018). According to the figures of National crime record bureau between 2014 to 2016, in 27 rape cases, the victims were less than 6 years old.
Figures of crime against minors on rise in three years (2014-2016 )2014
Age less than 6: 6 cases
Age between 6-12 : 37 cases
Age between 12-16 :195 cases
Age between16 -18 : 539 cases
Total: 777 2015
Age less than 6 : 13cases
Age 6-12 : 45 cases
Age 12-16 :235 cases
Age16-18 : 422 cases
Total cases : 715 cases
Age less than 6 :8 casesAge 6-12: 48 cases
Age 12-16 : 315 cases
Age 16-18 cases :426
Total cases : 797
While the number of such is rapidly rising, the legal process for the victims is extremely slow.
The punishment for the shameful and barbaric act of raping a minor is death by hanging but POSCO courts are simply not there for the victims or to adequately and quickly punish the accused.
In a State with 33 districts there is just one POSCO court.
Former CM and AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot has attacked CM Vasundhra Raje and the Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria for their failure to deal with the rape cases that are on increasing daily.
"Despite a woman Chief Minister ruling, its sad that our girls are so unsafe. They talk of women's empowerment but women here feel increasingly unsafe." Tweeted Gehlot.
On the rising crimes against minors, Gehlot says, "The government had passed a bill that those involved in raping minors will get death penalty but thats all they have done. There's no Law and Order left in the state as criminals have no fear of police and the Chief Minister seems to have no control over the administration now."
"The process of opening 7 more POSCO courts is on, we have sent a proposal to the legal department .We have made laws very strict and the Act has been formed for death sentence to those who will be found guilty of raping minors. We can't do anything with the increasing numbers of such incidents; we register reports whenever such incidents happen. We are taking all steps that are legally possible," refuting the allegations made by the Congress, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said.
With this issue heating up in Rajasthan just when elections are around the corner, PCC chief Sachin Pilot has made a significant announcement - "If Congress comes to power,we will open POSCO courts in all 33 districts of the state."