One month has passed since that horrifying incident took place in Delhi where a 23 year old intern was gang-raped, brutally assaulted, stripped and dumped on the road bleeding along with her friend. One month of shame and horror, anguish and muted sighs. What has changed in the process?
The six suspects arrested in connection with the gang rape were charged with murder following her death. The discussions are on to lower the age of the juvenile from 18 to 16 as the minor involved in the crime is said to have inflicted the most severe torture on the girl. The recent news is that Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal, while conducting the proceedings in-camera, extended the date of scrutinizing the documents in the charge sheet for Jan 17 as the counsel for the five accused said many of the documents are incomplete and illegible. One of the counsels Manohar Lal Sharma, who is defending Mukesh, brother of the main accused Ram Singh, has stated that his client was being tortured in police custody and that he would base his defence on police brutality inflicted on his client. He in fact has specified that his client is a child and medical test should be done. Counsel A.P.Singh who represents the two accused Akshay alias Thakur and Vinay Sharma specified that his clients were falsely implicated in the case as they were poor and downtrodden. So we can see that the legal process has taken over and we can only wait and watch as law takes its own course in determining punishment for the accused.
All the 180 police stations in Delhi on the other hand were asked to run a women’s help desk 24×7 with at least two women police personnel in attendance. All police personnel were also directed to apprise the senior officers immediately about any major distress call related to women. Countering crimes against women has moved as a top priority for the police in Delhi, this is the first time such a thing has happened and it took a heinous crime to set things in order. In fact the Special Commissioner of Police Sudhir Yadav has given his direct number and women in distress can call him. Now all important women-related calls are directed to the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) or additional commissioner of police’s offices. Will this priority be there throughout or it is the need of the hour now, considering the sentiments of the nation?
Did the rapes, molestation and torture on women stopped? No they didn’t, not in Delhi or in any other part of India. It continues in the same way. In fact as they are being reported regularly by the media people feel the incidents have increased rather than decreased. The nation has come together and has decided to voice out against the incident. Question though remains how long the intensity of the protests will be there. The anger is still there. People want stringent anti-rape laws. India’s image got a beating in the eyes of the world when this incident was reported globally.
We would still fend for the answer to the simple question that is why we needed something so cruel to happen to realize what kind of situation we are in. Countless rape and torture cases go unreported, domestic rape, rape by security forces are the ones which hardly see the light of the day. How will the police tackle such kind of crimes? They can when the crime is reported. It is not the question of only what happened in the Delhi gang-rape case but the question should be what happens in the rape cases in India? Do we have a clear answer to this question yet?