Inside Uttar Pradesh Station, Woman Raped by Four Policemen

silent_protest_at_india_gate.jpg

Michael Ransom, Contributing EditorLast Modified: 02:50 a.m. DST, 14 June 2014

"Policeman facing women in a protest march, Calcutta Kolkata India" Photo by: Jorge RoyanUTTAR PRADESH, India -- This past week has been a treacherous time for the safety of women living in the most populous state in India, Uttar Pradesh. The most unthinkable of these events occurred late Monday night, 9 June 2014, inside a police station in Hamirpur district.

When a woman entered the police outpost after dusk, she intended to leave with her husband. After explaining her connection to the detained man and asking for his release, the officers told the woman she would need to pay a bribe in order to see him freed. When she refused, four policemen proceeded to rape her inside of the police facility.

The highest ranking police officer has been detained, and authorities are now searching for three additional security officers still on the loose.

Several similar tragedies have occurred throughout the various rural villages that form the state of Uttar Pradesh. On Thursday, 12 June, a 19-year-old woman was hanged by a mob of men in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. This episode followed the rape and hanging of two teenage sisters in the early morning hours of 29 May, and another similar incident on Wednesday, 11 June, in the Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh. In this horrific crime, a 45-year-old Indian was raped and hanged below a tree.

Therefore, since the 29 May attack, four women have been killed by the brutalities of mob sexual assault in Uttar Pradesh alone. Many are claiming that the prevalence of these attacks are nothing new, only that the reporting and discussion of such crimes are increasing.

In many Indian states, rape goes under-reported because of a stigma against the victims of sexual assault. As the number of formal charges against perpetrators rises, so too does the awareness of the problem.

The aforementioned rape and hanging of two teenage sisters generated international outrage as reports emerged, both with regard to the atrocious act as well as the failure of police to investigate initial reports that a group of men had been seen accosting the young women. The indignation of Indian and international advocates was emphatic, but did little to discourage future cruelties of the same nature.

A final note. On Thursday, June 12, two preteen girls were raped by a group of men inside a hostel in Tamil Nadu state. The hostel is affiliated with a local church, but the offenders had no apparent connection to the congregation. An undoubtedly monstrous act, the attackers held the two girls at knife point while proceeding to violate them.

While the incident in Tamil Nadu took place on the opposite side of the country when taken in conjunction with the crimes throughout Uttar Pradesh state, the faraway communities seem in closer proximity because of these paralleled events.

The first step in addressing the brutality towards women is creating an environment where women feel safe to disclose the crimes committed against them. This process is already underway, and the people of India have protested in favor of increased legislation, and seen positive results. Safeguards against such terrible acts have increased since 2012.

But when policemen are perpetrators in the crime, as in the Hamirpur case, or when officers are complicit in murder, such as the double hanging in May, the shortcomings of these individuals signal a step backward for the movement as a whole.

Follow Michael on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Contributing Editor: @MAndrewRansom

Indian Rapists Spared Death Penalty

death-sentence-advocate-protester-india-photo-by-a-j-stream.jpg

Patrice Ellerbe, Staff WriterLast Modified: 21:58 p.m. EDT, 28 January 2013

Indian Prisoners, Photo by Raj Patidar NEW DELHI, India - Weeks after the shocking death of the paramedical student in Delhi, according to Sandeed Joshi, a contributor of the news source, “The Hindu”, the Justice Verma Committee has ruled against recommending the death penalty even in the rarest of the rare rape cases, and also did not agree to lowering the age of a juvenile from 18 to 16 years of age.

The Justice Verma Committee is a group formed to further investigate crimes against women. The committee was given the task of suggesting solutions to further deal with the frequent sexual assault cases. They announced that the minimum sentence for a rapist should be pushed from 7 years to 10 years.

They also announced that when life in prison has been sentenced, the individual convicted must serve the remainder of their natural life in prison. The Justice Verma Committee also suggested that there be more action taken in forming a new authority that takes on issues dealing with education and non-discrimination of women.

Although there were speculations of getting rid of the death penalty, Verma now states they will “enhanced the punishment to the mean the remainder of life”. Many organizations focused on women and have expressed their strong disapproval of the death penalty.

Over the past 20 years, murder cases have declined as well as execution of death sentences since 1980; however, bringing on the death penalty for rape may not bring effects. The maximum punishment for rape is currently life in prison.

When it comes to reducing the age of a juvenile from 18 to 16 years of age, Verma did not favor. His reasons stated, if a 16 year old is sentenced to life in prison, it is likely that he will be released by the age of 30. There is no guarantee that the prisoner would be released as a person of higher morals.

In the past, the Committee has depicted the jails and juvenile homes as having a lack of rehabilitation and reformatory policies. If a convict is not counseled before leaving the facility, there is a strong possibility that they are leaving as the same person they came in as. If this is the case, there has been no improvement and no need for release. The convict will most likely return because they have not been evaluated or changed.

Follow Patrice Ellerbe on Twitter
Twitter: @nahmias_report Staff Writer: @PatriceEllerbe