Archive for January 5th, 2013

Besides Pepper Spray, the Rape-Axe condom

5 January 2013

BRIJESH KALAPPA writes: Delhi with a population of 16.3 million in 2011 reported the highest number of ‘rape’ cases (414) followed by Mumbai (194) which has a population of 20.5 Million.

Predominantly high instances of rape maybe somewhat acceptable to the police if a neighbour were to have raped a lone woman, but if a woman cannot step out safely even while escorted by a male friend well before 9 pm on a public holiday, the state of women’s safety has clearly reached its nadir.

Since the police cannot be at all places at all times, if a rape occurs in a private location, it may not be preventable, but it is indeed a police failure if rapes occur in moving cars and in public places with unfailing regularity.

Under the circumstances, it is imperative for the Delhi police to set up decoy police women with extremely strong back-up at ill-lit points where rapists would generally pick up their victims.

The decoy police women must be previously trained in armed combat, she could even be accompanied by a female colleague.

The back-up team must be in high speed unnumbered and unmarked vehicles which are parked in pre-fixed areas. A trap must thus be laid out for potential rapists and they must be nabbed and vigorously prosecuted.

***

It was widely reported that at South Africa’s World Cup event Rape-Axe condoms which can be worn by women were handed out free to visitors.

If a woman feared being raped, she could insert the Rape-Axe condom inside herself like a diaphragm or tampon and, if a man attempted to rape her, the Rape-Axe’s inside hooks attach themselves to the penis and don’t come off and instead become even tighter thus stopping the man from even being able to urinate.

The only way to remove it is by seeing a doctor therefore helping the prosecution.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau while advocating chemical castration for repeat offenders had held recently that “The Indian legislatures are yet to address the issue (of rape) with all seriousness by exploring the possibility of permitting imposition of alternative sentences of surgical castration or chemical castration, particularly in cases involving rape of minors, serial offenders and child molesters or as a condition for probation, or as an alternative sentence in case of plea bargaining.”

Chemical castration entails the administration of anti-androgen drugs, such as cyproterone acetate or the birth-control drug Depo-Provera, which is injected to the offender every three months.

An antipsychotic agent Benperidol is also administered by way of injection.

Even in a Country like South Africa where instances of rape are incredibly high there is an event which stands out and shocks the conscience of persons hearing of the crime, just as the gang rape of Nirbhaya.

It was reported on 26 July 2012 that a gang of robbers gunned down a father, raped and murdered his wife and finally drowned the couple’s 12-year-old son in scalding bath water.

Amaro Viana was murdered to prevent him from identifying the three housebreakers who raided Viana’s suburban South Africa residence. The gang included the family’s gardener and the son of a domestic servant.

It was claimed they were seeking revenge for the ill-treatment meted out to them by the Viana family. In a Court appearance the gardener Patrick Radebe, 24, had confessed to being an integral part of the gang which broke into the Viana home in October last year.

The Vereeniging Regional Court heard with shocked horror that after gaining access to the house in Walkerville, a suburb of Johannesburg, the gang lay in wait for Amaro’s engineer father Tony, 53, to arrive.

As he walked through the front door, they attacked him with golf clubs and a machete-like knife known locally as a ‘panga’ before tying him up and ordering him to tell them how to open the family safe.

When Mr Viana’s wife Geraldine, 43, and her son returned to the home, they too fell victim to the criminals. Both the mother and son were tied up in separate rooms.

It was then that two of the three men raped Mrs Viana before both she and her husband were shot dead.

According to their court confession, Radebe and his co-accused Sipho Mbele, 21, did not want to leave an eye-witness- namely the boy alive.

“We went to the bathroom and turned on the tap,” the pair’s statement read, “We gagged him because he was crying. We forced him into the bath face down, knowing that he would drown.”

In a final act of brutality, the Viana’s family dog was also killed when its stomach was slit open with a knife.

Fortunately Mr Viana’s daughter from his first marriage, Gabriela, was not at home when the attackers struck. It is reported that despite a recent improvement in crime statistics, South Africa remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world.

***

In the Delhi case Ram Singh, 33, the prime accused is said to be a volatile man, known among friends as “Mental,” it was reported.

During investigation, the police is said to have learnt as to how he lost control and ended up brutalizing the woman and assaulting her friend.

“When she resisted and bit his hand, he says, he got very angry. Alcohol and the victims’ defiance, made him go berserk. He picked up a rod and hit the two everywhere. His accomplices followed suit,” a source is reported to have told a newspaper.

It was reported that Ram Singh picked up fights at the slightest pretext after the death of his wife a couple of years ago. Apparently, there’s an accident case registered against him and he has admitted to having been involved in several brawls.

It was reported that the investigating team led by Inspector Anil Sharma had found Ram Singh a cold and remorseless man.

“Initially, he denied everything. But when he began to open up, he chose to divulge each detail, with no repentance. Such brutality does not affect him. He tried to destroy evidence by washing the bus with confidence and told his accomplices to not worry, and lie low for some time. He stayed calm when he went and parked the bus in R.K. Puram, and then took it back to the owner in Noida. The confidence he shows is not of a novice definitely,” an officer is reported to have told journalists.

Apparently, even as the gang was brutalizing the woman by turns, Ram Singh had made a plan to cover their tracks. Ram Singh decided to physically strip the victims of their clothes completely before throwing them out of the bus to leave no trace of incriminating semen or blood.

He also reportedly retained their mobiles and switched them off. Three mobiles — one belonging to the woman and two to her friend — have now been recovered along with some of their clothes.

Even as her treatment was in progress, Nirbhaya was reported to have severe genital, abdominal and head injuries. Doctors treating her claimed the woman, who was on ventilator support in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital, was “very critical”.

It was reported that a senior doctor had told the correspondent at the hospital that “We performed several life-saving procedures on her within an hour of her being brought to the hospital around 3am. Her injuries were severe and she has lost a lot of blood.”

The victim had reportedly lost as much as a litre of blood and bore severe internal injuries. “Her intestines are damaged; the blood supply to her intestines has been severed. It looks like she was assaulted by a blunt object as her face also bore injury marks,” said the doctor.

The life-saving surgery is said to have lasted for more than four hours in the morning. Doctors tried to repair her intestines and other damaged organs and tissues.

Signalling that the victims end was near, the doctor is reported to have said “Her injuries are fatal. Though we are pumping her with the strongest of antibiotics possible, sooner or later gangrene is bound to set in. She is in a very bad shape.” She finally died on on 29th December 2012.

***

It was reported on Dec 14, 2008 that three men were killed in a police encounter in Warangal, Andhra Pradesh.

They were the suspects in a case of acid attack on two local college girls.

The three were shot dead by police who claim that the suspects attacked them with acid and country made pistols when they were brought to reconstruct the crime.

Superintendent of Police, Warangal Sajjanar is reported to have said, “We asked them to surrender but they attacked us with acid, sickles and country made pistols. We had no choice but to fire.”

The network reported that “However, the police is unable to explain how the three got hold of the acid and the guns even while they were surrounded by officers.

The families of the suspects say the police killed the three without investigating the matter.

The father of one of the killed suspects said, “My son was not Srinivas’ friend. The police killed him without verification.”

Meanwhile, the families of the two girls who were attacked with acid and are now fighting to stay alive, say that what happened to the suspects is justified.

Devender, the father of one of the acid attack victims Swapnika said, “Hum bahut khush hai. Jab main usko (Swapnika) shaam main bataunga toh who bhi bahut khush hogi (I am very happy. When I tell this to my daughter, she will also be very happy).”

While the public has lauded this police action, the State home Minister has conveyed that if anything suspicious is found in the police report on the encounter, there could be an enquiry.

As for Swapnika, who’s still fighting for her life, this piece of news might heal some of her wounds.”

No more cases of acid attack were reported in Andhra Pradesh for the next four years.


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