A seven-year-old girl’s body was found in the bushes of Pudukkottai in Tamil Nadu. She was raped and left in a failing situation. The body was searched by the police after a complaint was registered by the missing girl’s parents. It is a sad state of affairs that amid lockdown when the whole world is busy fighting against a deadly virus, the rotten elements of our society are out on the streets; scavenging on their prey.
The facts of the issue
The parents of a 7-year-old girl filed a complaint of their daughter missing at the police station of Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu. After the police went on a search for the girl, she was found lying dead in the bushes nearby her houses. It has been reported that the girl was taken by a man named Raja, 25 years old who lived beside their house, to a temple. Post that, the girl did not return home. She was raped and brutally killed, and left to rot in the bushes. The police searched for Raja and took him to custody for being accused of rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl. As per the recent updates, the accused, Raja has confessed to having raped and killed the girl. The statement has been recorded by the police and is due to be produced in the next step of the procedure.
Since the lockdown was imposed nationwide in India, the number of rape and domestic violence cases has only increased. Between March and May 2020, a total of 1477 cases of domestic violence have been received by the National Commission for Women. The number of victims of abuse is said to have arisen in the last three months compared to the last ten years. The state Police Master Control Room in Tamil Nadu has received around 7372 calls from women on account of domestic abuse, 6150 cases have been recorded to be from housewives alone. Many women have withdrawn their cases for multiple reasons, and some have known to never have reported anyone about the abuse met at home.
Access to justice during the pandemic
There are several reasons why the number of cases of violence, be it sexual or physical violence, has increased during the pandemic. One of the core reasons among many is the lack of access to justice, followed by either fear or unawareness to report cases. Ideally, it would be considered that since most of the people are locked down in their homes, the number of crime rates would have come out. To some extent it is true, but surprisingly, to a greater extent, it is not. If we take the recent rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl, could we expect her to have known how to protect herself? Monsters are present almost everywhere, it could be your neighbors, a stranger, or even a family member. Though no one can predict when and where the danger would come from, but precautions can always be taken.
Since the incidents of rape and murder aren’t new for any society, it is of utmost importance that families and authorities take cognizance of such matters in their respective regions of supervision. The police authorities who conducted a raid in 17 areas of Tamil Nadu is one such effective steps toward tracking down such crimes. Further, the police authorities must remain more vigilant in reporting, filing, and investigating cases during this lockdown, to ensure people who cannot report cases on their own, are traced quickly. Because cases of violence are a form of abuse of people’s human rights. And as much as the fight during lockdown is against a deadly virus, our fight is also against human rights abuses.