Rape, one of the most heinous crimes one could ever commit, is the fourth most common crime in our country. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2013 annual report, 24,923 rape cases were reported across India in 2012. Out of these, 24,470 were committed by someone known to the victim, meaning that in 98% cases. Most rapes go unreported because the rape victims fear retaliation and humiliation, both in India and throughout the world. Indian parliamentarians have stated that the rape problem in India is being underestimated because a large number of cases are not reported, even though more victims are increasingly coming out and reporting rape and sexual assaults.
Few states in India have tried to estimate or survey unreported cases sexual assault. The estimates for unreported rapes in India vary widely. A comparison between data from the National Crime Records Bureau and the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) in 2005 shows that only 5.8% rape cases were reported. India doesn’t have marital rape law. So, marital rape doesn’t get reported at all. Madiha Kark estimates 54% of rape crimes are unreported in India.
Unnao Rape case: A look back into an evil eruption.
In Uttar Pradesh, which has witnessed a series of sex crimes over the years where the victims or their families accused politicians from Amarmani Tripathi and his son Amanmani Tripathi to Gayatri Prajapati and, most recently, BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, gutsy women have led the fight against powerful politicians while the chief minister of the day has often failed to act swiftly. In the Unnao Rape case, the victim has alleged that she was raped by the MLA at his residence on June 4, 2017, where she had gone with a relative seeking a job.In February, the girl’s family moved court seeking to include the MLA’s name in the rape case. After this move, the victim’s father was booked by the police under the arms act on April 3 this year and put in jail on April 5.
The case lurched forward midnight Wednesday as the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath decided to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). In addition, an FIR will be filed against Sengar and others on the basis of a special probe team’s report submitted to the state government Wednesday. The 18-year old who earlier attempted suicide outside Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow on Sunday, demanding justice and alleging inaction and coercion from powerful people. Sengar and accomplices are also accused in the custodial death of the victim’s father.
A special investigation team (SIT) formed to probe the alleged rape and the victim’s father’s death reportedly found serious lapses by police and doctors in Unnao. Two doctors – D.K. Dwivedi and Prashant Upadhyay -have been suspended and disciplinary proceedings initiated against three other doctors “for laxity in giving proper medical care to the victim’s father, both prior to judicial custody and on referral from jail to the district hospital while in judicial custody”, according to an official statement, reported by ANI. The victim’s father died of septicemia in judicial custody on Tuesday and an autopsy revealed multiple injuries on his body. The Allahabad High Court will be taking up a Public Interest Litigation plea Thursday by senior advocate Gopal S. Chaturvedi pressing for a court-monitored probe of the Unnao rape case. Late Wednesday night, Sengar, BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Bangarmau district in Unnao, drove to a senior Lucknow city police officer’s house along with a gang of supporters after reports surfaced that he may surrender. Congress spokesperson Kapil Sibal alleged that Modi was “not serious” about rising crime against women in the country and cited National Crime Records Bureau’s numbers to substantiate his charge that atrocities against women, including rapes, were “highest” in BJP-ruled states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh are enough reasons for Modi to be a tad unsure about the prospects. Barely 14 months before the deadline to hold the next polls, the certainty of the 2014 verdict has evaporated as he battles on a terrain familiar to most incumbents.
Unnao Rape case: Will Modi handle the crisis in an exquisite way?
The hallmark of Modi’s campaigns has been succeeded in setting the agenda and presenting an overarching political idea. The outcome of the next election would be determined by success or failure in deflecting attention from ‘achievements’ or ‘failures’ of the government, and whether he can recreate another wave. This time, it cannot be 2014’s ‘Idea of Modi’ when the ground reverberated with a mere hand gesture. A grander thought that catches people’s imagination is now required. As chief minister, Modi had surmounted anti-incumbency sentiments, most challengingly in 2007. But now as the Prime Minister, the list of gripes is longer and diverse.
Unnao Rape case: Revealing the unrevealed political intentions.
The unhappiness over police’s inaction in the Unnao gangrape case has definitely hurt the reputation of BJP from within. Deepti Bhardwaj, one of its spokespersons attacked the Yogi Adityanath government and urged party president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘save Uttar Pradesh’. She said that party leaders are embarrassed by what has happened. She noted that it is hurting the organisation’s reputation and the unfortunate turn of events will crush the PM’s aspirations for the state.
She said that the decisions taken by the government are not in the party’s interests and it will spill water over the BJP’s prospects in 2019 general elections. She demanded strict action against the perpetrators of the crime, saying swift action by the government in the case will be a key factor for the party’s performance in 2019 elections. Speaking to news agency ANI, Deepti said that she rightly pointed out the issue while drawing Amit Shah’s attention.
She said, “This is a total failure of Uttar Pradesh Government because we fought for women’s respect but risked it just for saving image of an influential person.”