Police Chief: “… if you can’t prevent rape, you [should] enjoy it.”

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Political musings
Tags: , , , , , ,

Last year, the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a New Delhi bus sparked protests around India which as a result toughened its rape laws, and police said that they were doing everything in their power to prevent rape and sexual assault.

But considering recent comments from one of India’s top policemen, how seriously could they possibly be taking it?

Ranjit Sinha

Ranjit Sinha

At a recent meeting about illegal gambling, the chief of one of India’s top investigative forces, Ranjit Sinha, said, “If you can’t prevent rape, you may as well enjoy it.”

Sinha has since said that his comments were taken out of context, but no context could make this attitude acceptable especially as Sinha leads the Central Bureau of Investigation in India.

India is struggling with a wave of violence against women which has prompted widespread debate about social attitudes and has damaged its image overseas.

In December last year, a 23-year-old student died of internal injuries suffered during a gang rape by six men after she boarded a private bus in south Delhi. Four men were sentenced to death for the attack in September at a special fast-track court in the capital. A juvenile has also been convicted. The alleged ringleader of the assault hanged himself in prison.

Further incidents of multiple rapes or sexual assaults are now regularly reported by Indian media.

“Do we have the enforcement?” Sinha said after being asked if sports betting, which is banned in India but widespread, should be legalised. “It is very easy to say that if you can’t enforce it, it’s like saying if you can’t prevent rape, you [should] enjoy it.”

His remarks outraged campaigners and politicians.

Kavita Krishnan, an activist with the All India Progressive Women’s Association, called for Sinha to step down.”How can he remain the head of India’s premier investigation agency?” she said.

Brinda Karat, leader of the Communist party of India (Marxist), said Sinha’s comments were offensive to women everywhere. “It is sickening that a man who is in charge of several rape investigations should use such an analogy,” Karat told reporters. “He should be prosecuted for degrading and insulting women.”

The CBI, which has a role similar to that of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US, was set up to fight corruption by government employees, but also investigates other important cases, including murder, rape and terrorism.

Local law enforcement officials have repeatedly been criticised for their attitudes towards sexual violence. Indian police estimate that only four out of 10 rapes are reported as officers often fail to take complaints of sexual violence seriously. Victims are also often stigmatised or ostracised by their own communities following an attack.

A recent study of 40 rape cases tried by district courts in Delhi that resulted in acquittals found that more than half were due to police failure to perform adequate investigations.

Wellthisiswhatithink says: Rape is one of the most common crimes against women in India, and police attitudes are frequently lackadaisical towards it. It’s therefore doubly disgusting that a high-ranking Indian policeman would suggest that women try to “enjoy” this horrifying, traumatizing ordeal rather than actively working to prevent it.

We urge you to click the link in the second paragraph above, and demand Sinha’s resignation. And if he won’t resign, he should immediately be sacked.

Sinha has apologized for his remarks, but we can’t let this incident get pushed under the rug.

In the case discussed at the head of this article, the victims, a 23-year-old woman and a male friend, were on their way home on the night of 16 December 2012 after watching the film Life of Pi in Saket, South Delhi. They boarded an off-duty charter bus at Munirka for Dwarka that was being driven by joyriders at about 9:30 pm. There were only six others in the bus, including the driver. One of the men, a minor, had called for passengers telling them that the bus was going towards their destination. The woman’s friend became suspicious when the bus deviated from its normal route and its doors were shut. When he objected, the group of six men already on board, including the driver, taunted the couple, asking what they were doing alone at such a late hour.

When the woman’s friend tried to intervene, he was beaten, gagged and knocked unconscious with an iron rod. The men then dragged the woman to the rear of the bus, beating her with the rod and raping her while the bus driver continued to drive. Medical reports later said that the woman suffered serious injuries to her abdomen, intestines and genitals due to the assault, and doctors said that the damage indicated that a blunt object (suspected to be the iron rod) may have been used for penetration. That rod was later described by police as being a rusted, L-shaped implement of the type used as a wheel jack handle. According to police reports the woman attempted to fight off her assailants, biting three of the attackers and leaving bite marks on the accused men. After the beatings and rape ended, the attackers threw both victims from the moving bus. Then the bus driver allegedly tried to drive the bus over the woman, but she was pulled aside by her male friend. One of the perpetrators later cleaned the vehicle to remove evidence. Police impounded it the next day.

What a shame the victims didn’t just enjoy the situation, eh?

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