Bhubaneswar: When the nation was trying to come to terms with the ghastly Unnao and Kathua incidents, the rape of a four-year-old girl at Nilagiri in Odisha’s Balasore district sent shockwaves in the state again.  Heinous to an inexcusable limit, the minor was admitted to Nilagiri hospital in a critical condition with her private parts mutilated.

Cases of rape against women have risen sharply as compared to other incidents of crime against women. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reports, cases of crime against women were second highest in Odisha in 2016. The latest NCRB data for the year 2016 revealed that while overall crimes against women have risen by just about 3%, incidents of rape have gone up by 12%. No wonder, every day we roll a scroll on television on a rape or a gangrape. But these finally remain news only.  And Pipilis and Kundulis or Unnaos and Kathuas just remain cases! And the heart rending Surat case is just evolving!

Social activist Namrata Chaddha said, “For me these incidents are really inhuman and very shocking. Not only sexual assault, other kinds of mental and physical tortures on children are very painful to see. After getting information of a minor being tortured by someone, when we try to call the police, on many occasions police officials don’t pick up the calls, they don’t file an FIR and sometimes they don’t put right section of Indian Penal Code (IPC).”

“The cases of rape are very sensitive issues. Everyday we come across the incidents of rape which is really shocking. We feel that the nation lacks proper security. Many are trying to gain political mileage out of these incidents but that shouldn’t be done. Each and every one in the country should come forward to give justice to the survivors or victims,” said Satya Sourav Behera, a college lecturer.

The outrage over cases of crime against minors did not take time to spill on to the streets all over the country. From tweet outpours to protest rallies all over the country, the incident pierced through the heart of every human with a conscience. Though the Odisha case has not been able to garner as much support from outside the state, it certainly has made people of the state, react sharply demanding an answer from the powers that be.

“Before independence, Mahatma Gandhi used to say that India can be called a real independent nation only when the women of the country can roam around freely at 10 o clock in the night. But in present days, a girl is not safe in the afternoon,” said Suchitra, a student of Ravenshaw University, Cuttack.

Rise in offences against children in Odisha. According to the NCRB report of 2016, Odisha stood sixth as it registered as many as 112 rape cases against minors in that particular year.

“Small kids are certainly vulnerable as they are helpless and don’t have a voice. Sometimes the minors even don’t know what is happening to them. So they become soft targets,” said social activist Namrata Chaddha.


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