Members of BJP women’s wing protest against the Bariatu gang rape near Albert Ekka Chowk in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, Dec. 20: The capital district for the first time officially recorded a three-digit rape figure, with the SSP’s office confirming 100 cases from January 1 to October 31 this year, a number that will shoot up once assaults of November and December, including the recent Bariatu one, are tabulated.
As 2013 figures — much higher than 84 cases recorded in all 12 months of 2011 and 78 in 2012 — shoot through the roof, the most recent incident in Bariatu illustrated what was wrong and right with Ranchi.
Both the rapists of the 13-year-old girl in Bariatu have been arrested, Goldie Khan in the small hours of yesterday and Vijay Tirkey today afternoon.
Chief minister Hemant Soren, on the last day of the winter Assembly today, promised speedy trial for the duo but accepted delay in recording the victim’s statement due to lack of mahila police at RIMS and cited “communication gaps”, which he did not specify.
Though in the past one year, police initiated women-friendly steps such as anti-eve teasing cells and Shakti Vahini teams, any significant change is yet to be felt in and around the city.
Yesterday, even as Bariatu was on the boil demanding arrests of both the rapists of the minor, the rape of a woman labourer was reported from Pandra.
Amool Ranjan, senior psychiatrist at Rinpas, held socio-cultural evils as well as individual mindsets responsible for rape.
“Often, sexual assault is perpetrated by those who are highly impulsive and driven by instant pleasure of sensation without realising the outcome or its fallout,” he said.
Ranchi SSP Bhimsen Tuti denied “sharp rise” in rapes. Instead, he said more girls and families were coming up to speak against the assault and the police had become more active in registering and probing cases to logical conclusion.
But another senior district police officer rued community “insensitivity”.
“When you dig into a rape case, you find in 90 per cent of the times, the accused is in some way or the other related to the victim. Community policing is as important as conventional policing,” he said, adding in the Bariatu case, the accused knew the victim’s family.
On rape of minors, Rooplakshmi Munda, chairperson of State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), rued people hardly knew about Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in Jharkhand. “Even many senior government officials don’t know about the Act. We’re planning awareness workshops in 2014,” she said.
An SCPCR team is likely to visit Wednesday’s rape victim to take stock of her situation and offer monetary help if needed. “We gave compensation recently to the unfortunate girl raped in Pakur earlier this year. I will send a team tomorrow or on Monday for providing compensation to the girl,” said chairperson Munda.
On Hemant’s assurance of speedy action against the accused duo, BJP legislator C.P. Singh said mere tall talk of government couldn’t stop such incidents.
Accusing police top brass of being “insensitive” towards rising crime graph in Ranchi, he charged them with being involved in land brokering.