As anger mounts following the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and the rape of a 17-year-old girl in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, the focus is once again on the need for a strong judicial system that would ensure rapists receive harsh sentences.
“We have a weak judicial system,” Nirbhaya’s mother told News18. “Rapes happen every day, but the accused get no punishment. If one goes to jail, the case goes on for years till they get the punishment. These incidents prove that we are still where we were back in 2012, when Nirbhaya was raped and murdered,” she said.
If those convicted for raping Nirbhaya were hanged by now, “then the girls of this nation would be safe,” she said.
Nirbhaya is the name given by protesters to the physiotherapist who was brutally raped in New Delhi five years ago. Her case received international attention and forced India to enact a new law against sexual crimes.
However, Nirbhaya’s mother says whatever changes happened it wasn’t implemented properly.
“Cases happened, media focused on them for two days and then they were forgotten. No one is scared of the law today as an accused knows that after two or four years, they will be acquitted. The fault lies with our police, law and government,” she said.
An eight-year-old girl was kidnapped from Jammu’s Rasana village on January 10 and she was drugged and held captive for a week before being murdered. The child was gangraped and was forcefully fed sedatives before being raped repeatedly. She was hit on the head with a stone to make sure she was dead.The mastermind behind the rape and murder is retired revenue official Sanji Ram. His son and nephew are also involved in the crime.
Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Bangarmau district in Unnao, has been accused of raping an 18-year-old woman in 2017. The lawmaker and his brothers allegedly gang-raped the girl – who attempted to take her life outside UP chief minister Yogi Adityananth’s residence — and are wanted in the custodial death of her father.