Sisters, 11 and nine years old, from a Scheduled Caste family, are found dead in a time span of two months. Their autopsy reports state that they were sexually violated multiple times before their death.
Two-and-a-half years later, a POCSO court lets free all the accused, for the prosecution failed to produce evidence against them. The defence lawyer sympathises that “the police was under political pressure”. It is not Badaun, it is not Kathua. It is Walayar, Kerala.
The post-mortem report of the nine year-old reads thus: “There was evidence suggestive of unnatural sexual offence on the child in the form of multiple episodes of anal penetrations in the past. In view of the age of the child (nine years) and the length from sole of heel to the tip of right middle finger with right upper limb fully extended upwards (151 cm) the possibility of homicidal hanging needs to be ruled out by correlating measurements at the scene of crime and through investigation’.
Her elder sister had died on 13 January 2017. She, too, was sexually violated multiple times, as per the post-mortem report. The investigating officer found out that the 11-year-old committed suicide because she was ‘sad’!
All these happened in seven months after the Left Democratic Front assumed power, winning the elections pledging women's safety as a priority in the wake of the brutal murder of a law student in 2016. Is it not a shame on such a government to watch all the accused being let off by the court for want of ‘scientific and circumstantial evidence’? Considering the trauma those tiny kids had undergone, the pain their fragile bodies had endured, shouldn't the government and the entire police force squirm in embarrassment?
Right from the Suryanelli serial rape case, it has been evident that the insensitivity and negligence of the cops investigating crimes against minors and women combined with the delayed court procedures have rendered the laws meant to prevent sexual offences futile. The perpetrators are punished only in a...
few cases handled by committed police officers and public prosecutors who understand that it is a social cause.
Why is it a social cause? Take the list of the accused in major sexual offence cases. We often find the names repeating themselves. Listen to the serial rapists and serial sex offenders, and they will swear that they repeated the crime only because they were not caught in the first time.
In the Walayar case, it is much more than a social cause. It is a political cause, too. During the autopsy of the nine-year old, the only food the police surgeon could identify was pieces of raw mango. Other things were unidentifiable which means that the last food she ate had been hours ago. Understandable, as her parents are Scheduled Caste daily wage labourers which means they are deprived of the financial and social privileges to afford staying back at home taking care of their kids.
Dear Chief Minister, can you imagine a nine-year old eating a raw mango before she is found hanging from a roof eight feet high? If you can't, then imagine her perpetrators, whoever they are, roaming free looking out for more nine and eleven-year olds....