Friends turn out rapists in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh

Hundreds of girls are raped by their neighbours, acquaintances and relatives

Hyderabad: On the evening of March 16, eight-year-old Preethi (name changed) was playing outside her house at Jeedimetla when her neighbour, N. Harinath, came and asked if he could also play with her. Preethi’s mother had gone to buy groceries and her father was yet to come back from work. Harinath started talking to Preethi and asked if she wanted some chocolates as he was going to the shop.

When the Class III student said yes, he asked her if she would like to go with him. Suspecting nothing, she started walking with him. But she soon realised that he had taken a different route and they had reached a deserted under-construction building. Harinath raped the child and threatened to kill her if she told her parents.

The incident came to the light when Preethi’s mother found her bleeding, following which it became a police case. Preethi’s case is not unusual as hundreds of girls are raped by their neighbours, acquaintances and relatives in TS and AP each year. According to last year’s data of the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), the victims and rapists were known to each other in 87 per cent cases in AP and 71 per cent cases in TS.

Read: Andhra Pradesh averages 2 rapes a day and rising

A total of 961 women were raped in AP while 979 rape cases were reported in TS in 2014. Nearly half of the victims were children, while seven were senior citizens. One of the rape cases in Hyderabad that made headlines was that of the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) student who was raped by her friends in the men’s hostel. Senior police officials say that the reported cases are just the tip of iceberg.

“Many rapes that occur within the family do not come out. Since the victim and rapists are family members, they try to keep it under wraps in order to avoid a bad name for the family,” said Cyberabad commissioner of Police C.V. Anand. As per the NCRB data, 35 close kin and 61 relatives were found to have raped women in AP while 39 close kin and 63 relatives sexually assaulted women in TS.

Read: Vijayawada, a crime capital

“In these incidents, (in which the victims are mainly kids), the predators start by fondling and hugging. And when the innocent victims do not resist, the rapists go further. And most victims are afraid to reveal anything to their parents,” said Mr Anand. The incidents occur more in nuclear families where parents aren’t around and relatives take advantage of the situation, senior officials say.

Meanwhile, there are also rape cases registered in police stations, which are of consensual sex, but turn out to be rape when problems erupt between the sexual partners. “These are technically considered as rapes when the victims approach the police. In many cases, the accused must have promised to marry the victim before having sexual relationships. When he cheats the victim and she approaches the police, it becomes rape under the law,” said a senior police officer from CCS.

Vijayawada most unsafe for women:

If one goes by the NCRB data, Vijayawada, the ‘heart’ of AP, is turning into a heartless city, as far as safety of women is concerned. The report, Crime in India (Statistics) 2014, released on Tuesday, suggests that women are stalked, insulted, assaulted and also subjected to cruelty by husbands and relatives, the most in Vijayawada. This is apart from the increasing sexual harassment and rape cases reported in the city.

Read: Backward classes face brunt of crimes

Over 91 women were stalked in the city in 2014. This alone puts Vijayawada on top of the list with 6.1 rate of incidence, followed by Aurangabad, New Delhi. Even if the number of cases (91) is taken into consideration, Vijayawada stands at the fourth place Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Shockingly, cruelty by husband and family is higher than any other crime against women in the city. With 212 cases of women’s modesty being insulted, Vijayawada again topped the country as the rate of incidence is 14.2. There were 10 dowry deaths and 279 cases of assault against women, besides 40 cases of sexual harassment in 2014.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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