Haryana, already infamous for gang rapes with women and girls, skewed sex ratio and honour killings has now touched a new horizon by earning a bad name of being the land of animal rapists. 25th of this July marked a new stigma on the face of the state when an incident of alleged gang rape of a pregnant goat came to light. An FIR has been registered against eight men for allegedly gang raping a pregnant goat, which led to its death, in Mewat area of Haryana state , following complaints filed under Sections 377 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and Sections 11(1)(a) and 11(1)(l) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960. As per media reports, Asalu, the owner of the victim goat, has lodged the FIR on July 26 with Nagina police station that his goat was gang raped on the night of July 25 by Savarkar, Jaffar, Haroon, and five others whose identities are yet to be ascertained.
Just 10 days before this barbarous incident, a case of alleged sexual assault of a 22-year-old woman from Chandigarh in a nearby guest house at Morni Hills in Haryana by at least 40 men from July 15 to 18 had raised the question mark over the working of the state police and governance. The woman, in her complaint lodged with Chandigarh’s Manimajra police station, reported that she was held captive at a guest house in Kaimbwala village, and was raped by at least 40 men from July 15 to 18.
If we have a sight over the NCRB figures, we see that Haryana has become the capital city of gang rapes. In 2016, gang rapes per one lakh population in Haryana was 1.5, which is the highest in the country with a national average of 0.3. In 2015 and 2014 also, the figures were 1.6 : 0.3 and 1.9: 0.4 with a distinction.
Haryana is having a skewed sex ratio and generally, this is being quoted as a reason behind rapes. As per 2011 census, there were 834 girls per thousand boys, showing a deficiency of 166 girls for the marriageable boys. Is this gap really a major cause of rapes? But in many cases, persons of older age and having a married status are also found involved in rapes/gang-rapes. In Morni Hills sex assault case, at least 40 persons from different places were allegedly reported involved. Were all of them unmarried? This angle must be also investigated.
Haryana Government is claiming a great success in increasing the sex ratio during its last three years tenure. It claims that the state government has succeeded in lifting up the sex ratio at birth from 876(2015), 900(2016) to 914 in 2017 under PM’s Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Programme. But, even if this claimed success of the state government is taken into account, more than at least 15 years have to be waited to reach these girls to attain marriageable age. Should we leave the present condition to continue till next 15 years? The state government should come up with the other effective regulatory and preventive measures to curb the rapes in the state. Committees comprising of sociologists, psychologists, legal experts, NGOs, police officers, social workers and journalists covering such incidents at different levels be constituted and advised to search the root causes of the evil. Every gang rape incident must be thoroughly investigated covering the mental, marital status and social background of the rapists and the victim so that further preventive measures be looked out. It is well-known fact that without knowing the root canal of a disease, no remedy can be found out. However, it is a major social issue, but also a failure of rule of law. Now the time has come and the earliest possible significant steps should be taken by the governance.
By Jag Mohan Thaken
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