Friday, March 29, 2013

School denies admission to gang rape victim

Published: Friday, Mar 29, 2013, 3:30 IST 
By Prasanta Mazumdar | Place: GUWAHATI | Agency: DNA
In a move bound to raise eyebrows, a school in Meghalaya has reportedly denied admission to a girl who was gang raped.
Harassed by people in her hometown Williamnagar following the incident, the victim relocated to Tura in the state’s Western Garo Hills to avoid humiliation and pursue studies but only to be denied admission by at least one school there.
The victim, a 16-year-old student of class IX, has now been kept at an unspecified location by the authorities to protect her from public glare. Her parents have been allegedly threatened by some people to withdraw the case.
Seventeen people, including eight juveniles, have been arrested in connection with the case. Two of the accused are relatives of a minister and a surrendered militant leader.
The incident of gang rape took place in December last when the girl was returning home along with a friend from a festival in Williamnagar.
“We are not aware of the denial of admission by the school to the girl. However, exemplary action will be taken against the school if it is found guilty,” Western Garo Hills deputy commissioner Prabin Bakshi told DNA.
Social organisations in the state have expressed concern over the threat to the girl’s life. 
But Bakshi claimed she was in ‘safe hands’. “She is safe. She is in a hostel and is being looked after by Meghalaya State Women Commission. They are now in the process of finding a school for her,” he said.
Asked about the alleged threats to the parents, Bakshi said, “We have come to know about the alleged threats. However, we are yet to receive any formal complaint.”
“Trial in the case is going on a very fast pace. All efforts are being made to ensure that it goes on in a free and fair manner,”he added.
A women’s group has slammed the authorities for allegedly protecting a minister. “Such crimes will continue. The people involved are very influential. The policemen are public servants. But in this case, they are protecting a minister. So, where is justice then,” asked Agnes Kharshing, president of Civil Society Women Organisation.


Girl gang-raped, mob torches police station

Girl gang raped

VARANASI/LUCKNOW: Alleged dilly-dallying on part of the police in initiating action against the accused who gang-raped a 12-year-old girl on Wednesday evening, triggered public outrage in Chandauli on Thursday. Irate locals, armed with sticks and rods, took to the streets and assaulted the cops on duty at the local picket. The mob also stormed the local Sakaldiha police station and ransacked the tehsil office, setting ablaze a section of the building. Action has been taken against four cops.

The locals accused the Sakaldiha police of siding with three of the rape accused as they reportedly hailed from an influential family of the region. Allegations did the rounds that though police came to know about the incident on Wednesday evening, no FIR was lodged. The victim was sent for medical examination on Thursday afternoon after people came out on streets to protest against police laxity. The medical examination of the victim was done over 18 hours after the incident was reported to the police.

The incident was reported on Wednesday evening from Urwan village under Sakaldeeha police station of Chandauli. Reports said the girl had gone to a local general store near her house when she was allegedly kidnapped by three local youths and their two unidentified aides. The accused took the girl to a deserted part of the village and raped her and later fled the scene.

The girl reached home and told her family about the incident, following which the family approached the Sakaldiha police with a written complaint and the girl was asked to narrate the entire incident to the cops. Allegations are that police did not act promptly and even tried to silence the victim, supposedly offering her family some sort of a compromise formula.

The delay on the part of the police led to a situation where neither an FIR was lodged nor the girl was sent for medical examination till Thursday morning.

When the local residents came to know about the police inaction, there was widespread resentment. The locals alleged that police were not taking action as the accused -- three of whom were identified and their names and addresses provided the moment the girl reached the police station for the first time on Wednesday - belonged to influential families.

As the police kept delaying action against the accused, the locals blocked the the Sakaldiha-Chandauli road for almost two hours. As the police allegedly failed to reach the site and pacify the protesting locals, the crisis and anger of the locals aggravated.

Thereafter, the locals marched up to the Sakaldiha police station where some of them entered into a heated exchange with the cops on duty. The situation worsened when one of the cops allegedly slapped a protester and the mob went out of control and ransacked the police station premises. A section of the mob stormed the nearby tehsil premises and torched some make-shift structures, including temporary office sheds and shops selling revenue stamps and stationery.

Chandauli SP Sharad Sachan, however, refuted allegations of delay in registration of the FIR. "The police raided the houses of the three identified accused and were trying to find out the names of their unidentified associates when the locals went berserk."

Asked about the delay in getting the victim medically examined, he said: "By the time the victim reached the police station, it was quite late in the night, hence it was decided to get her medical examination done the next morning."

Later, one inspector was removed from the police station, while a sub-inspector and two constables were suspended for alleged delay in action.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Two more women accuse Marathi writer Laxman Mane of rape

Thursday, Mar 28, 2013, 21:15 IST 
Place: Satara (Maharashtra) | Agency: IANS

Two more women have accused Marathi writer Laxman Mane of raping them, police said Thursday. Earlier, three women alleged he had sexually assaulted them.
Mane is absconding since he was booked Tuesday on the allegations of the three women working in a school run by him in Jakatwadi village in Satara district, around 250 km from Mumbai.
"Of the two new complainants who came forward late Wednesday, one is a cook and the other was a peon in the school. Mane is absconding and police teams are investigating the matter," an officer from Taluka Police Station said.
Mane, 63, a former Maharashtra legislative council member, has now been charged with raping five women working at his residential school for tribal children in Satara.
Mane was honoured with a Padma Shri by the central government four years ago.
According to police, three married women aged between 30 and 35 Monday alleged that the writer raped them on the pretext of making them permanent employees of the school.
They claimed that he raped them between 2003 and 2010 in the school, at his home in Satara and at a guest house in Pune.
After booking Mane for rape, police teams visited his home and other places, but so far he is untraceable.
Mane's family stoutly denied the allegations and said he was being framed.
Mane also won the Sahitya Akademi award for his autobiographyUpara in 1981.


Vasco rape victim promoted without writing exam

PANAJI: The Goa government has promoted the Vasco rape victim, and her elder sister, to next class, considering it as a special case, as both the girls could not take the examinations because of the trauma.

The victim's father said that both his daughters have been promoted to the next standard by the state education department, instructing another school—run by Christian missionaries—to admit them. The father said he has decided to shift both his daughters to another school in Vasco town.
The seven-year-old girl was raped inside the school toilet in Vasco town of Goa on January 14 this year. The accused is still at large, while a special investigation team of the police has failed to crack the case. The parents of victim girl had earlier approached Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, a state-government run body, after both the girls refused to attend the classes being under trauma. "It was only after we approached the commission that the education department, through its order dated March 4, 2013, has directed the school to promote both the students without appearing for the exam," he said.


Delhi gang rape trial sparks Indian media frenzy

Digital media have been barred, but print journalists wait outside to swarm lawyers, the accused and their families

Delhi gang rape trial sparks Indian media frenzyIndian children participate in a protest against child abuse and rising crimes against women, in Bhubaneswar, India, Saturday, March 16, 2013. (Credit: AP/Biswaranjan Rout)
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.
Global Post
NEW DELHI, India — Across town from the district courthouse, employees of Ambedkar University’s Center for Community Knowledge argued about India’s most infamous trial.
“The defense lawyers are saying, ‘well, you know, she was out late,’” said Ranjani Prasad, 24, gesturing with her hands and clearly irritated.
Her co-worker, 26-year-old Anoushka Mathews, nodded thoughtfully and crossed her arms. “It might actually work,” she said. “The judge might listen to that.”
On trial are four of the six men accused of gang raping a young woman on a New Delhi bus in December, a crime that made headlines around the world and forced a typically uninterested Indian judicial system to take action.
One of the two not being tried is 17 years old and in juvenile court. The other is Ram Singh, the bus driver branded as the group’s ringleader. He was found hanging by a noose tied from prison clothes in his cell on March 11.
The victim, Jyoti Singh Pandey, 23, was brutally beaten, raped, tortured and then left for dead. She later succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital.
The crime — and now the trial — has brought the issue of sexual violence into the public sphere in India like never before. Reacting to the public uproar, the government passed a law in March allowing the death penalty for repeat offenders or for rapes that led to a victim’s death, such as the Pandey case.
The case has for months been splashed across Indian newspapers and broadcasts, and has inspired news features on sexual assaults. The scene both inside and outside the courtroom is frenzied. Digital media have been barred, but print journalists wait outside to swarm lawyers, the accused and their families.
Manohar Lal Sharma, one of the defense lawyers, stops every time to feed quotes to the hungry press. He has become famous for his angry outbursts and controversial remarks, blaming the victim for the attack. Earlier this week, he stormed out of the courtroom, furious that authorities wanted to bring one of the defendants, who had been hospitalized with chest pains, back to court to stand trial.
“They have no sympathy for Mukesh,” Sharma complained to a group of journalists, referring to Mukesh Singh, the bus driver Ram’s brother.
Sharma, along with Singh’s parents, believe Ram’s death was murder, not suicide. They cite the injuries reported on his hands and the fact that he was under a suicide watch. He shared his cell with three other men, and it seems suspicious, the family says, that they all claim to have slept through his hanging.
Sharma said the police are now being irresponsible again, trying to yank Mukesh from his hospital bed to sit in a courtroom.
“One person they have murdered,” he told the gathered journalists, shaking his head, “and now they’re doing it to another one.”
Vijay Sansanwal, another defense lawyer, wrote off the possibility that Ram Singh was murdered. Ram had three children and a wife who left him after the details of the case came out, he said. He nodded, as if that explained everything.
The trial is on hold until the question of whether Mukesh is healthy enough to stand trial is resolved. In the meantime, speculation continues about how the case will ultimately unfold.
Among the Indian public, few feel any sympathy for any of the defendants. Though many support the government’s new law to impose the death penalty, some fear it could backfire.
Sagolsem Pavel Meitei and Priyanka Singh are master’s students in gender studies. They worry that implementing the death penalty or castration, another suggestion from the public, would make the conviction rate for sexual assaults plummet.
Pavel worries the men could be found not guilty because the burden of proof is so much higher in a trial that carries a sentence of capital punishment.
“Plus [the accused] have sympathy points,” Priyanka added. “They say, ‘look, one has already killed himself.’”
Priyanka doesn’t believe the men will be put to death. She thinks the case will be drawn out as political parties use it to garner popularity.
Pavel spoke rapidly and had to pause several times to gather his thoughts about Pandey’s trial and the larger issue of sexual assault.
“It isn’t just about justice for her,” Pavel said. “It’s about changing how sexual assault is seen in India.”
Priyanka interrupted him, “This concept of women in distress, so passive and weak … it’s just pathetic. It doesn’t help in any way. It victimizes the women again.”


Councilor charged with rape

TNN Mar 28, 2013, 03.25AM IST

COIMBATORE: In a shocking incident a sitting councillor has been charged with rape and sexual misconduct against a 20 year old city college girl based on the complaint filed by the victim with the city police. Police have officially booked E Senthil, elected as the corporation councillor from ward no 21 near Chokkempudur on Monday. The councillor was reportedly acquainted with the victim's family and has been accused of raping her once in the recent past and making numerous sexual advances towards her as per the FIR registered against him at the All Women Police Station in Gandhipuram. However the councillor is yet to be arrested.
"We received the complaint from the victim and have booked the councillor for rape and other charges. We are now trying to verify the charges levelled against him," said Ak Viswanathan, Commissioner, Coimbatore city police.
According to the complaint filed by the victim, a student of a private college on Avinashi Road, Senthil was acquainted with the victim's family residing in Ram Nagar here in the city. The victim has specifically mentioned in her complaint that Senthil had raped her once and had made numerous sexual advances towards her in the past. The victim's mother noticed some behavioural changes and questioned her when she revealed the incident to her.
Senthil was elected to the council on an AIADMK ticket and coincidentally the party high command removed him from the outfit as he was booked under rape charges. Police claimed that Senthil has been booked under relevant sections of IPC for rape and also Tamil NaduWomen Harrasment Act. They are now engaged in verifiying the accusations levelled against him. Senthil cannot be reached for comments as his mobile phone has been switched off.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Suryanelli rape case: Court issues notice to Kurien

The horrific Suryanelli sex case occurred in Kerala's Idukki district Jan 1996, when a 16-year-old was threatened, abducted and abused by a bus conductor. She was sexually assaulted for 45 days by 42 men.


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A Kerala court today issued a notice to Rajya Sabha speaker PJ Kurien and five others in connection with the Suryanelli gangrape case.

This comes in the backdrop of the Supreme Court setting aside the Kerala HC's acquittal of 35 people accused of raping a girl from Suryanelli village in Kerala's Idukki district in 1996.

Following the SC verdict, the girl demanded a fresh investigation against Kurien - which snowballed into a political controversy.

The apex court said the high court did not look at the evidence properly and directed that the case be re-judged again within six months.

Earlier, a lower court in Kerala on Saturday has rejected Suryanelli rape case survivor's plea against key accused Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien in the 1996 gangrape case.

The court said that there was no new evidence against Kurien. The verdict comes as a relief for Kurien as the Kerala High Court was yet to decide on a PIL seeking orders to make him accused in the 1996 rape case.

What is the Suryanelli sex case?

The horrific Suryanelli sex case occurred in Kerala's Idukki district Jan 1996, when a 16-year-old was threatened, abducted and abused by a bus conductor. She was sexually assaulted for 45 days by 42 men, and then threatened with dire consequences if she spoke of the incident, before being allowed to return home.

In repeated statements, the victim has claimed that PJ Kurien was among the men who abused her 17 years ago.

The Supreme Court Jan 31 ordered a retrial in the case, setting aside the acquittal in 2005 by the Kerala High Court of all but one of the 35 accused.

As the victim and her parents repeat that Kurien got away lightly, without being so much as named among the accused, thanks to his political clout, the Left has rushed to draw mileage from the accusations.

The tormented girl mustered the courage to talk of her experience, and the names of the high and mighty appeared as a special court named 35 accused and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment.

On September 6, 2000, the trial special court convicted 36 people and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment of varying terms. The Kerala High Court, however, acquitted all 35 convicts earlier and found only one of them person guilty of crimes related to the sex trade and sentenced him to five years jail term and a fine of Rs 50,000.

In 2005, however, the Kerala High Court acquitted all but one of those earlier named as accused. 

The victim's family and the state moved the Supreme Court in 2005 against the high court's verdict.


Wishing you a Violence free & free spirited HOLI!

Girl abducted, raped in outer Delhi; critical

Dwaipayan Ghosh, TNN Mar 27, 2013, 02.21AM IST

NEW DELHI: A four-year-old girl was kidnapped and repeatedly raped for four hours by unidentified men in outer Delhi, police said on Tuesday. The girl was sleeping with her parents on a pavement in Shahbad Dairy area when she was kidnapped at midnight on Monday. She was repeatedly raped and dumped near a bush at 4.30am.

When the girl's father woke up at 5am, he realized that his daughter was missing from their makeshift house. He looked around and finally found her near a bush, barely 300m from their house. The girl had injuries on her body and was immediately rushed to a government hospital. A medical examination of the victim has confirmed rape, said police. According to a doctor, the girl's condition is critical and she is yet to recover from trauma.
A person has been detained in the case, said an investigator. "A witness claims to have seen the girl being picked up by the detained person. We are collecting evidence and verifying all claims before we arrest him. Further investigations are on and if other names come up, we will register cases against them also," added the officer.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police claims to have solved 90% of all crimes against women” including rape, molestation and eve-teasing in the past one month. "An analysis of solved cases, registered till March 15, shows that the accused were arrested within one week of the case being registered in 125 of 138 rape cases; 369 of 401 cases of molestation; and 253 out of 283 cases of eve-teasing,'' said a Delhi Police spokesperson.