For the second time since December 2012, Delhi saw a tsunami of anger over rape. A couple of dolls, flopping akimbo on the five-year-old girl who was raped over three days in a capital slum became the emblem of a city’s sound and fury, signifying its anger towards a police that fails to protect women and children, and towards a political establishment that seems to have done little except repeatedly appoint commissions as after the December gangrape. As Delhi seethed in sullen rage, the government seemed to be expecting a December protest redux. Section 144 was hastily imposed as if anticipating the capital’s anger rising in the early summer heat. Soon, the number of protesters swelled at the protected enclaves of the capital—the homes of Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Delhi Police headquarters. The agitation also became politicised with fringe parties and student organisations taking over camera space to mark their presence as moral agitators. Police barricades nearly collapsed as protestors tried to pull them down in an attempt to reach Police HQ. In the middle of all this blood, pain, heat and dust are numbers that stare out like omens that portend a grim pattern.
For Delhi’s girls, April has been the cruellest month. On April 1, a five-year-old kindergarten student in East Delhi was sodomised by Pramod, her teacher on the school premises in Jagatpuri. The same day, a 15-year-old Class X student was gangraped in East Delhi. On April 14, a 10-year-old girl playing outside her house in Sultanpuri was dragged by Rakesh Kaushal into a stationary bus and raped. In Delhi, a woman is raped every six hours while the national figure is one rape every 36 minutes. Delhi Police data states that from January to March 31, 2013, 393 rapes have been reported; the corresponding figure for 2012 is 152—more than a 100% rise.
The Sunday Standard