Five years have passed since the brutal gangrape of a paramedical student in the national capital left the nation stunned. Thousands of people hit the streets as if saying enough is enough. They carried banners, held candlelight vigils urging that violence against women needs to stop. But sadly, nothing seems to have pricked the conscience of this nation.
A string of brutal sexual assaults against women recently highlights the grim situation of their safety in the country. Statistics indicate that a woman is raped every 22 minutes on an average. Women continue to be vulnerable and news about violence against them in their own home, in public places and at workplaces continue to pour in. However, a new shocking trend of sexual assault against women on roads and highway has been noticed in recent time.
Just last week, a young mother was gang-raped and her six-month-old daughter was killed after her tiny body was thrown on the road near Jaipur-Gurugram highway. In a reminiscent of last year’s double rape of mother and daughter, the Bulandshahr highway yet again became fatal for four women who were gang-raped at gunpoint on May 25. In a chilling reminder of the December 12 gangrape case, a woman was gangraped and “some sharp-edged objects were inserted in her private parts” on highway in Rohtak.
Cases of sexual assault and rape of minor girls have also been reported in the last month from Haryana’s Yamunanagar, the Jewar area of Greater Noida and Sikar in Rajasthan, among other places. Highways in a way have become morbid for women. Away from the prying eyes and in the darkness of the night, women are more than often taken advantage of. The fact that help may not reach her makes it easier for her predator to attack her. A 27-year-old woman was recently allegedly gang-raped in front of her husband, who was tied to a tree and gagged, in the Sahaswan area of Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district.
Guess it is time to reiterate what the Justice J S Verma committee had said after the 2012 case. “Let us hope that this tragedy would occasion better governance, with the State taking all necessary measures to ensure a safe environment for the women in the country, thus preventing the recurrence of such sexual violence.”
(With inputs from PTI)