Recently, a teenage girl was gangraped by her classmate and three others in Malad. The crime came into light after her aunt came across the video of the incident that they had circulated on WhatsApp. Look at the guts of the guys, first they raped the girl and videographed the entire event and then posted it on social sites. Who are these guys? What are their backgrounds and who is supporting them for committing this crime? Child porn is most saleable content on internet and is on high demand. Same words are searched on internet, due to which the government has banned many such sites promoting child sex. These kinds of incidences are somewhere connected here; this angle should also be considered while probing the case. All the four accused who are minors have been taken into Mumbai police custody. The four boys, studying in classes IX and X, and the victim too is 15-year-old girl and is a student of standard X. They then threatened the girl not to reveal the incident or else, they would post the video online. She remained silent but video went viral. One of the accused is a friend of the girl. She had gone for studies at his home in Malad. Working class parents, leave their homes trusting children. However, what happens at their back no one monitors that. Mumbai is busy city here all are running for earning their livelihood.
All the accused are juvenile, here. In the aftermath of the public outrage unleashed by the Nirbhaya case, the Cabinet had approved amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act. The government tabled the Bill in Lok Sabha. The key change was that allowing children between ages of 16 and 18 to be tried by regular courts. The arguments in support of this amendment seem to be mostly driven by sentiments, fear and moral outrage. The Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi even alleged that 50% of all sexual crimes were committed by 16-year olds.
Meanwhile, the parents of the December 16 gangrape and murder victim had demanded that the face of juvenile convict who was the “most brutal” of all the six offenders, should be shown to the world before he is released citing “he is a threat to the society”. He was the most brutal of all the six and he is showing no signs of remorse about what he has done. His release will be a threat to the society. We don’t want that what has happened to their daughter is repeated again. The father also stressed that it was important to assess the mindset of the boy before releasing him. Maneka Gandhi’s resolve to change the law and treat juveniles as adults in heinous crimes has come amidst the release of some disturbing figures by NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau). The involvement of juveniles in cases of rape in the capital shot up by 158 per cent in 2013 (163 cases) as against 2012 (63). And there was a 30 per cent increase in overall crimes committed by juveniles during the same period. One hundred and sixty three juveniles were apprehended on rape charges and 76 in murder cases, last year. That the law is not proving to be a deterrent is quite evident. The involvement of juveniles in the trademark crime of burglary and snatching also went up. There were 928 cases in 2013 as against 523 the year before. Going by these statistics, the concern expressed by the minister is quite valid. In fact, since the Nirbhaya case, Delhi Police has been demanding that the juvenile age limit be brought down to 16.
Recently, three boys-aged nine, 12 and 14 -took a seven-year-old girl to a park on the pretext of plucking mangoes and took turns to rape and sodomize her in west Delhi’s Paschim Vihar. Also, a juvenile servant masterminded a robbery and murder of a war hero in Patel Nagar in early June. However, the punishment for them will be negligible. In the past three years, juveniles have been found involved in rapes, gruesome murders of elderly and robberies. A gang of five minors who had dramatically escaped from a city juvenile home last year on October 5 amid rioting and arson had murdered a jeweller’s wife in Mayur Vihar a month later and fled with 50kg of silver jewellery and Rs. 10 lakh in cash from the house. A juvenile who was just 10 days short of being a major was among them.
There are many theories that have been proposed to explain why some children and teens sexually abuse others. Although, there is no clear and simple formula for how this happens—sexual offending behaviours are extremely complex—the theory most widely accepted today is known as the “learning theory,” which holds that sexually abusive behaviour in children is linked to many factors, including exposure to sexuality and/or violence, early childhood experiences (e.g., sexual victimization), exposure to child pornography and advertising, substance abuse, heightened arousal to children, and exposure to aggressive role models/family violence. In this cycle, an event causes a negative emotional response in the youth. The youth attempts to gain control of this response but fails. He then feels angry and rage, which in turn lead to thoughts of retaliation and fantasies of overpowering another, which leads to an assault. Inspite of all logics and studies, no government or social organisations was able to focus on issues. Anyway, India should focus on the solution for growing juvenile crimes in the country.