A five-year-old girl child is now battling for life at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, having been subjected to abduction, rape and unimaginable sexual torture. Naturally enough, the people are greatly worried and have expressed their anger through protests and demonstrations. Instead of appreciating their sentiment, the police, which did precious little to trace the abducted girl, were ruthless in dealing with the protestors. What’s worse, the police even tried to broker peace by offering the girl’s parents `2,000 by invoking the fear in them that the news about rape would tarnish her image. This is certainly not how a socially conscious police should have handled the incident of child rape. Suspension of the policemen concerned alone will hardly solve the problem.
Sexual violence against girl children has assumed epidemic proportions in the country. According to a report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights, there has been a 336 per cent increase in child rape cases from 2001 to 201a1, a period in which 48,338 rape cases were recorded. A startling aspect of the finding was that most of the child rape cases were reported from government-run juvenile homes. When the fence itself starts eating the crop — to use a vernacular saying — it is indeed difficult to control the situation. After all, for every single incident of child rape reported, several go unreported.
However welcome the anti-rape law that was enacted following the public furore over the gang rape of a Delhi girl in 2012 last, it falls short of dealing with the present situation. Those in authority, who are expected to be the saviours of women but turn out to be their tormentors, should be given summary deterrent punishment. The anti-rape law should not end up like other enabling laws like the one against domestic violence, which are seldom implemented. All political, social and religious organisations should join hands to fight the menace of sexual violence against children.