September 21, 2016, in Times of India, Editorial
(Note: Are we becoming famous or infamous? And that for the wrong reason? Weather one existed or not, all want to be in Paradise. We in India have two by popular approval: God’s own country Kerala and Kashmir, at opposite ends of the country. Now Delhi is emerging as the Stalker’s Paradise, according to this report.
Nirbhaya case in 2012 was supposed to have put in force a law enforcement system to protect our women folk against all attackers gone mad with lust. Are laws made in our country, only to be broken? The complaint about middle East countries is that they are too brutal in enforcing deterrent punishments like chopping off the hands that steal. One happy outcome is that crime rate in those countries are minimal. In India crime is increasing by leaps and bounds, because law enforcement people pretend not to see anything wrong done.
Stalking, which is pursuing a lady with sexual intent, is now made into a criminal offense. The total number of crimes against women across the country went up from 2,13,585 in 2010 to 3,27,394 in 2015. Who will wake up the police which petend to be sleeping? james kottoor, editor)
Delhi has been described as the country’s rape capital, could it be turning into a stalker’s paradise as well? Two gruesome murders have taken place within 24 hours. The horrific visuals of 21-year-old Karuna being ruthlessly stabbed to death in broad daylight, on a busy road in Delhi’s Burari area, by her alleged stalker have been captured on closed circuit TV. Prior to that a 32-year-old mother of two was stabbed to death on a road on Monday in Delhi’s Inderpuri area.
In both cases the murder looks like a psychopath’s act. Moreover in both cases complaints had been filed against the stalkers, to no effect. This shows that the stalking has been going on for a long time, the women did what they are supposed to do in such circumstances, but the law was unable to help them. After the infamous Nirbhaya case in 2012, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013 widened the ambit of laws dealing with sexual violence against women. The amended law recognised stalking as a criminal offence with a punishment of three years imprisonment. But the letter of the law alone isn’t enough if it isn’t enforced stringently enough.
Stalking is still treated as a minor offence. Policemen need to be trained to take immediate action following a complaint, before it leads to more heinous offences like assault and murder. Stalkers can be watched if they are free from jail and any attempt to renew contact with the victim should lead to their re-arrest. The total number of crimes against women across the country went up from 2,13,585 in 2010 to 3,27,394 in 2015. While crimes against women have been on the rise, conviction rates remain abysmally poor. If India’s women are to be protected from predators, the apathy of the police and justice machinery must change.