Brutal Nirbhaya-like gang-rape in Jind, necrophilia in Panipat: Haryana CM Khattar must answer
Two heinous gang-rapes in Haryana in the past few days are nothing less than a national shame. Though in different parts of the state, the gang-rapes are similar in their brutality and in the fact that the victims were minor Dalit girls.
On Saturday, the body of a 15-year-old Dalit girl was found near a canal near Safidon in Haryana’s Jind district. The girl had been missing for a week. The police revealed that the victim had been gangraped and brutally tortured before being killed. Her private parts were mutilated and her liver was ruptured. The gruesome nature of the rape is akin to the 2012 Delhi gang-rape.
SK Dattarwal, director of Rohtak’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences who examined the victim’s body, described the victim’s injuries as “horrific”.
“In all, her body had 19 injuries — largely on face, head, chest and hands. Her lungs were ruptured, suggesting someone might have sat on her chest," he told Times of India.
“There were internal injuries as well, suggesting the assailants had inserted a foreign object," he added.
According to the doctor, she was sexually assaulted by “more than two people”.
The police are suspecting the role of a boy from her village.
Necrophilia in Panipat
Another horrific incident has taken place in Panipat district. A 11-year-old Dalit girl was found dead near Urlana village in Panipat. According to the police, she was first murder and then gang-raped by two men. Police have arrested Pradeep (28) and Sagar (24), who were the girl’s neighbours.
“The accused took her to the house of Pradeep. They first killed the girl and then raped the corpse. They burnt her clothes in an attempt to destroy the evidence.,” said Sandeep Singh, Station House Officer of the Matlauda police station where the case has been registered.
In yet another incident, a woman was abducted on a busy road in Faridabad’s Sector 16 and gang-raped on a moving vehicle for about two hours. The assailants took turns in raping her and then dumped her on the roadside.
According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 191 gang-rapes in Haryana in 2016. This comes to around one rape in every two days.
For the past few years, Haryana has recorded the highest rate of gang-rapes in the country. In 2016, it had 1.5 gang-rapes per one lakh people, a rate that is five times the national average of 0.3 gang-rapes per one lakh population.
The rape rate in Haryana was 9.4 against the national average of 6.1.
Only last month, Haryana was rocked by the gruesome gang-rape and murder of a six year old girl in Hisar district.
“The consistently high rate of gang-rapes in Haryana could mean that this is a societal phenomenon. Individual rapes can often be the result of the individual criminal’s mental state. But gang-rapes reflect a culture of impunity in which perpetrators feel they can get away or that there is nothing wrong with such an act. Often it is to do with social domination as well, when the victim and accused belong to different communities,” said a female officer of Delhi Police on the condition of anonymity.
Khattar under fire
Haryana Chief Minsiter Manohar Lal Khattar has been consistently under fire for the recent spate of gang-rapes in the state.
Following the Jind gang-rape and murder, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda slammed Khattar for the failing to maintain law and order in the state.
Chief spokesperson of the Congress and MLA from Kaithal in Haryana, Randeep Singh Surjewala said that “Khattar government is sleeping while incidents of rape and murder are taking place every day”.
Khattar, his ministers and MLAs are notorious for their insensitivity on women’s issues. In the aftermath of a rape case in the past, Khattar had said that “women should dress decently”.
Then of course there are ministers like Ram Bilas Sharma, who prostrated before Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan, even though the latter was a rape accused. Gurmeet was later convicted of rape.
Haryana BJP chief Subhas Barala’s son Vikas is accused of stalking a woman Varnika Kundu and is presently out on bail.
Responding to the charges against Vikas Barala, BJP’s MLA from Jind had said that this was the result of “Jawani ka Josh (the passion of youth)”.
Clearly it seems that the ruling dispensation in Haryana has a callous attitude towards crimes against women. However, the anger following the rapes of minors in Jind, Panipat and earlier in Hisar is likely to damage the credibility of the Khattar government.