Omar Abdullah apologizes for disclosing names of rape victims
Srinagar: Under opposition attack, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday tendered an unconditional apology for revealing the names of rape victims in the last five years in the state Assembly. "I tender an unconditional apology. There is a deep sense of shame over revealing the names of the victims," Omar told the assembly.
The issue was raised by opposition leader Mehbooba Mufti, who accused the government of stigmatising the victims by revealing their identities in the assembly. She said it was in contravention of section 228 (A) of the IPC and Supreme Court ruling on the matter.
CPM MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami also supported Mufti on the issue.
The chief minister assured the House that such incidents will not be repeated. He said the Supreme Court ruling should not have been violated.
"Under what circumstances these details have been revealed, I will look into it and will come back to the House," he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir government had on Wednesday made public the names of hundreds of rape victims in the state.
The list of names and residential details of the victims were made available by the Home Ministry, headed by the chief minister, in the Legislative Council.
The details were given in reply to a question by MLC Subash Chander Gupta.
The CPM had yesterday criticised the state government for disclosing the identity of rape victims and termed the move as "secondary victimisation" of the women.
Tarigami had also asked the government to apologise to all the rape victims in the House.
"It is not only dissolute and unethical but it means the government has ruined their left over dignity and honour in society. Simply, the government has ruined their lives," he had said.
Tarigami had said the government by disclosing the names of rape victims not only has degraded the honour and sanctity of the House but also acted in contempt of the Supreme Court which has categorically banned disclosure of their names even after their death.
Advocate general Ishaq Qadri had said that the Supreme Court in its several judgements had ordered that names of rape victims should not be mentioned.
"This is about the judiciary, I am not sure whether this applies to the executive also," the advocate general had said.
The details showed Jammu and Srinagar account for the highest number of rape cases in the state.Jammu had registered 150 cases since 2006 and Srinagar 120 during the same period.
A total of 1,326 rapes cases had been registered in the state since 2006.
However, only one person had been convicted during the last five years, the government reply had said.
Bulk of the rape cases are sub-judice or are under investigation.