Remembering the 16th December Nirbhaya case

Remembering the 16th December Nirbhaya case

14 year old Delhi girl raped by 6 youth when she was on her way to school.

A 2 years old girl raped in Delhi

9 year old girl raped, left to die in U.P.

Minor girl raped in Meerut.

These are the headlines which take up the maximum space in our newspaper.

Rape is the fourth most common crime in India, where New Delhi has the highest number of rape case among all cities.

No one can ever forget the 16 December 2012, Nirbhaya rape case which involved a rape and assault case of 23year old, Jyoti Singh. She was beaten and gang raped by 6 people including the driver of the bus which she boarded at 9:30 in the night with her friend. After satisfying their lust, they threw her and her friend from the moving bus. The partially naked victims were found on the road by a passerby at around 11 pm. The passerby called the Delhi Police, who took the couple to Safdurjang Hospital, where Jyoti was given emergency treatment and placed on mechanical ventilation.

She was found with injury marks, including numerous bite marks, all over her body. Two blood-stained metal rods were retrieved from the bus and medical staff confirmed that “It was penetration by this instrument that resulted in the massive damage to her genitals, uterus and intestines”.  She died at 2:49 am on 29 December after going through the most painful and heart wrenching treatment.

The whole nation was fuming to take revenge from the molesters somehow. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon stated, “Violence against women must never be accepted, never excused, never tolerated. Every girl and woman has the right to be respected, valued and protected”.  Later, In view of wide spread protest and the international coverage of this sensitive subject, both central and state governments took various strict measures to prevent and control the number of rapes in the country.

The government responded with the passage of several new sexual assault laws, including a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years for gang rape, and six new fast-track courts created solely for rape prosecutions. The Criminal Laws Amendment Act, 2013 was also brought into force. The government has set up the NIRBHAYA FUND to address all problems related to sexual assault.

But has anything changed actually?

Delhi has recorded the highest number of rape cases in the country in 2013 at 1,636, double of what was recorded in 2012 (706) even after all the changes made by govt. in response to the Nirbhaya case. This was followed by 391 cases in Mumbai, 192 cases in Jaipur and 171 cases in Pune in 2013. Every day, we hear about women and minor girls getting raped, molested and attacked by some devils who are still moving freely in our society. The biggest shame is that we cannot even protect the minor girls from such horrifying experiences.

Nearly 1 out of in 3 rape victims were minor. Rape cases of foreigners have led to several countries issue travel advisories to their women travelling to India. For instance, warnings like “women travellers should exercise caution when travelling in India even if they are travelling in a group; avoid hailing taxis from streets or using public transport at night, and to respect local dress codes and customs and avoid isolated areas” are common. 

What a shame!!

The victims could be our mothers, sisters, daughters or friends. Sex education should be implemented in every school. Also, Self defence should be a part of the regular curriculum at the school and even at the workplace. The least we could learn from the Nirbhaya Case is to protect our loved ones from going through something so traumatic by encouraging them to take effective precautions and tracking their whereabouts when required. Corporates and startups should take effective measures to ensure that women employees have an adequate transportation mode to go back home safely. Taking these steps seriously could help us save a few lives from being victims to this heinous crime.

Rape is a more heinous crime than others because the rape victim dies throughout the period she lives”- Amit Abraham


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