Karnataka The State Of Rapes!
► Bengaluru: 22-year-old girl allegedly raped in front of her boy friend in a car at Frazer Town;
► Mysore: Autorickshaw drivers allegedly attempted to rape a 14-year -old girl;
► Bengaluru: A 64-year-old woman was stabbed to death after she resisted chain snatching;
► Mysore: A 45-year-old man allegedly raped a 23-year-old physically-challenged woman in Nanjangud taluk;
► Bengaluru: A six-year-old girl allegedly raped by school staff; Bangalore erupts in anger;
► Haveri: A 55-year-old man allegedly raped a four-year old child;
► Bellary: A 86-year-old man is missing after he allegedly raped his daughter-in-law;
► Bengaluru: A 15-year-old girl, undergoing training at a seminary to become nun, was allegedly raped by an unidentified person;
► Mandya: A 25-year-old painter arrested for raping a minor girl;
► Bengaluru: A 24-year-old fruit vendor allegedly raped a girl after promising her to marry.
Welcome to Karnataka, the hitherto land of gold and sandal but which has now shown its dark underbelly going by the spate of heinous incidents of rape and murder as illustrated above. If crimes are happening in different parts of the state, can Bangalore be behind? On the other hand, the silicon city looks like the crime capital of a tragic state.
For any old-time, quintessential Bangalorean the happenings in his otherwise serene city with people being clannish and enjoying their laid-back attitude, would be a rude cultural shock. “I just cannot believe that Bangalore is witnessing all these shameful and heinous incidents. It is beyond anybody’s imagination and unthinkable,” says Sharada Prabhakar, a 73-year old home maker who is born and brought up in Basavanagudi, presently a resident of Vijaynagar. There are any number of Sharadas in state who shares her views, with pain and agony.
The ever-growing population, shortage of police personnel, indifference of the elected representatives to the genuine needs of people, insensitivity of the bureaucrats, fast-changing life style going towards consumerism guided by market forces, dwindling joint family system leading to nucleas family with no proper parental guidance for the children at tender age at home—all these have contributed to the present disturbing reality.
The tragic irony was that chief minister Siddaramaiah was caught napping in the assembly when the discussion was going on about the incidents of rape and murder. “Come out of your deep slumber, Mr CM, “said B.N.Vijaya Kumar, BJP MLA from Jayanagar. Siddaramaiah, however, retorted, “I am not sleeping. I was just disturbed about the on-going crime incidents and thinking what needs to be done by closing my eyes. I can repeat everything what the members have said in the last half-an-hour,” the chief minister defended himself.
Among scores of such incidents, one of them have made the people to erupt in anger against the establishment, the police and the VIBGYOR High School, at Kundalahalli beyond HAL Airport, where a six-year old girl was allegedly raped by two of the school staff. What is outrageous is that the incident has happened on June 2, almost 45 days ago but was never reported. The anger of the demonstrating people was so intense, it made Bangalore City Police Commissioner Dr Raghavendra Auradkar beat a hasty retreat on Saturday.
“We have one person by name Mustafa, a gym instructor of the school for his alleged involvement in the crime. There could be some more arrests in the next few days,” Dr Auradkar told the media on Sunday.
The number of people who sat on dharna in front of VIBGYOR school demanding justice and arrest of the rapists reminded of the anger and resentment of thousands of people at Delhi in connection with Nirbhaya incident in Delhi in December 2013.
That the police are totally insensitive and needs training while dealing with cases related to children in VIBGYOR crime incident could be made out by the fact that they made the six-year old child to come to the police station to record the statement. “This is unacceptable. The police ought to have gone to victim’s house and asked in front of the parents and child counselor,” senior advocate Pramila Nesargi said. In the rape incident at Frazer Town police limits, the police inspector Mohammed Rafiq was accused of lapse on his part for not slapping “rape charge” against the accused but instead booked Hyder Nasir (accused no.1) on the charges of extortion. What is inexplicable and outright atrocious, the investigations have revealed, is that a teacher by name Susan of VIBGYOR school made the six-year old first standard school to stand in a room in isolation, as a sort of punishment.
“Whether there was somebody inside the room before the child was taken inside is to be verified. But no matter what it is, making such a small child stand in isolation in a room amounts to violation of child’s right. The teacher involved in this inhuman incident needs to be booked,” child right activist Vasudeva Sharma told Uday India on Sunday.
Following the uproar in both the houses of legislature as well as on the streets of Bangalore against crime incidents, Siddaramaiah held a high-level meeting of senior police officers and directed them to ‘buck up and show results’ or else face action. Home Minister K.J.George, who has come under severe flak from the Opposition BJP and JD (S) as well as by various social organizations, held a one-to-one talk with the city-based police officers in order to find out ways and means to stop the increasing crimes.
BJP President of Bangalore City Unit Subbanarasimha (Subbanna) told Uday India, “Morale of the police force has gone down due to the goonda attitude shown by the kin of ruling Congress. We demand that the rapists must be booked under Goonda Act. In 2013, there were 1030 rape cases were reported in the state. In 2014 till June, the number of such cases is 525. This is alarming, by any standard. It only shows that there is a serious lapse on the part of the home minister whose resignation we are demanding.”
These incidents, naturally, has rocked both the houses of legislature with the Opposition parties baying for home minister George’s blood. But the debate on this all-important issue is shallow and myopic aimed at scoring brownie points.
By SA Hemantha Kumar from Bengaluru