By Anuj Sabharwal
Edited by Nidhi Singh, Junior Editor, The Indian Economist
The brutal sexual assault and murder of a young woman outside school premises at Mohanlalganj, Lucknow has once again proved that nothing has changed since the Nirbhaya case of Delhi. The Nirbhaya’s brutal assault happened on 16th December, 2012 and Mohanlalganj assault happened on 16th July, 2014. The unfortunate woman who was an employee of leading hospital of Lucknow has been called as ‘Nirbhaya of Lucknow’ due to the nature of brutality. The similarities between the two incidents were raised because of the nature of brutality inflected on both women. Are we becoming a hypocrite society? On one hand we worship Goddess and on the other hand we have to witness these kinds of incidents. There were again protests on Mohanlalganj case. Agreed that we can’t go on streets every time but it was discussed on FB and Twitter enough to put pressure on Uttar Pradesh government to handover it to CBI.
The environment for women has not changed because strict laws which were defined after 2012 are not able to put any kind of fear among rapists. Judiciary takes a long time and then there are loop holes in laws which these rape accused take advantage of. They are aware that most of the rape cases do not get a chance to stand in court. In most of the cases victim gets hostile as she is threatened by the rape accused. The stigma attached with the incident is great for victim. In this case, the Uttar Pradesh police was quick to dismiss it as a crime committed by the security guard only. However, an IPS officer of UP Cadre, Amitabh Thakur who visited crime site contradicted the UP police claims. He said, “Facts leading up to the murder do not connect sequence of events as told by the police are not backed by evidence.” He added that it looks like that police was in a hurry to solve the case under media pressure. The victim mobile and murder weapon remains untraced. Also it is hard to believe that the crime was committed by a single person. He overpowered her, dragged her, assaulted her for long time and that’s at a place habited by villagers! Another unbelievable theory by police is that she went out to search for a rented flat. Now which woman goes to see a flat in Uttar Pradesh at 10:30 p.m with an unknown person who was wearing a helmet for the whole time? According to the police the culprit never removed the helmet till he reached Mohanlalganj school premises. It’s an absurd theory to save the culprits. Finally the case was given to CBI as latest forensic reports suggest that there were traces of blood and flesh of more than one person in the DNA of the victim.
Nothing has changed because the statement by people like Aziz Qureshi, who was in governance at the time of Mohanlalganj case, has not helped either. He said, “Only God can stop rapes in the country as the force is not enough.” These statements come like a God send opportunity for men like SP Chief who added without remorse, “With a population of 21 crore, these incidents are very less.” The country is still reeling under his previous statement, “Mistakes happen, boys will be boys.” Perhaps he needs to read the National Crime Research Bureau report which says that in 2013, eight incidents of rapes were reported daily in Uttar Pradesh. For how long we will be the tolerant society and have to bear the salt on the wounds with these irresponsible statements. Things will only change if the new government act soon and hang those rapists who all have their mercy plea rejected by President. It is hard to understand the government which made such an issue of women security in General Elections is not finding courage to punish the guilty. As a society we need to introspect and also hope that Uttar Pradesh government punishes the guilty without delay.