STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

How to prevent crimes like the Kathua rape?

Then last year, the government brought in a law that makes sexual assault of girls below the age of 12 punishable by death.

Published: 12th June 2019 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th June 2019 09:01 AM   |  A+A-

Sanni Ram, convicted in the rape and murder of a 8-year-old-girl in Kathua. (Photo | File, PTI)

Sanji Ram, convicted in the rape and murder of a 8-year-old-girl in Kathua. (Photo | File, PTI)

Monday’s verdict in the rape and murder of a minor in Kathua proves that even the poorest of the poor can hope for justice, if all the concerned parties—the police, government authorities, media and the courts—do their jobs with honesty and sincerity. The sheer brutality and the communal overtones ensured that the crime grabbed global headlines, denting India’s image abroad. While passing the verdict, the judge of the fast-track court in Pathankot may have hoped that the judgment will act as a deterrent. But that, sadly, is likely to remain just a hope. According to the NCRB report of 2016, the latest in the series, nearly 40 per cent of the victims of sexual assault are minors. The most number of rape cases in which minors were victims were reported in Madhya Pradesh (2,467), Maharashtra (2,292), Uttar Pradesh (2,115), Odisha (1,258) and Tamil Nadu (1,169).

But more than the statistics, what is of greater concern is that the government seems to think that just passing stringent laws will deter crimes against minor girls. It was for this purpose that the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) was enacted in 2012. Before POCSO, the accused in sexual assault cases of minors were booked under Sections 375 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code. The Act was brought into place in the hope that it would arrest the increasing cases of sexual abuse and exploitation of children. But successive NCRB reports after 2012 clearly show that has not been the case.

Then last year, the government brought in a law that makes sexual assault of girls below the age of 12 punishable by death. All political parties gave it fulsome support even though experts have pointed out that mere laws are not enough to stop Kathua-like crimes. Even the Justice J S Verma Committee, formed after the infamous Nirbhaya case, had said that death penalty for rape would be regressive and might not have the desired effect. The need of the hour is to prevent crimes through a change of societal mindset and better policing.



Comments(1)

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

  • Shashi Gupta

    The innocent kids are not babies of any newspaper now the time is zero patience
    2 years ago reply
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp