November 16, 2017

INDIA: A Woman Was Abducted, Gang-Raped And Robbed By A Cab Driver And Accomplice In South Delhi On Wednesday. 😧 Gggrrr...😠

Daily News & Analysis (DNA), India
written by Anvit Srivastava
Friday November 17, 2017

A woman was allegedly abducted from south Delhi by a cab driver and his accomplice and gangraped before being dropped at a deserted location in Greater Noida, during the early hours on Wednesday. The woman, police said, was also robbed of her jewellery and cash before being freed.

According to senior police officers, a PCR call alleging rape was made by the complainant on Wednesday in the area of PS K N Katju Marg, reporting that late night on Tuesday she had taken a taxi from near Ansal Plaza to go to Rohini.

"According to her complaint, the taxi driver, after driving a few kilometres, allowed another person to board the taxi and soon, both these persons started misbehaving with her. When she tried to raise alarm, she was threatened, and they took her to Greater Noida area and allegedly committed rape. The accused also took away her gold ornaments, mangal sutra, cell phone and cash Rs 12,000," said a senior police officer.

It was then around 6 am on Wednesday that the duo dropped her near a secluded stretch in Greater Noida and drove away.

"Since the area from where she was allegedly taken in the taxi falls in south Delhi's Hauz Khas area, a case has been registered and investigation has been started with no delay. CCTV footages are being checked to ascertain sequence of incidents and identify the vehicle used by two," the officer said.

The woman was also taken to a hospital for her medical examination and she is being counselled. Police teams are meanwhile raiding taxi booths in order to zero down on the area used and his accomplice.
The Guardian, UK
written by Michael Safi in Delhi
Wednesday November 8, 2017

Complaining to police about her gang-rape was the beginning of a new nightmare for Kajal.

Officers detained the young woman from Madhya Pradesh state in central India. They beat her with a stick, she says, until she agreed to drop the charges. She was abandoned by her husband and threatened by the accused men.

“I have lost everything and everyone blames me,” said Kajal, an assumed name.

Five years since a brutal gang-rape that galvanised a movement against sexual assault in India, women who report the crime are still routinely harassed by police or bullied into silence, according to research released in Delhi on Wednesday.

The Human Rights Watch report found that willingness to report rape and other sexual offences had significantly grown, but was often stymied by regressive community attitudes, particularly outside big cities.

In one case highlighted in the report, a “low-caste” woman from Haryana state was pressured by her village council to sabotage a trial against six men from a more powerful caste charged with raping her.

“[She] didn’t have another way,” a relative of the woman told HRW. “If you want to live in the village, you have to listen to the [councils].”

Implementation of laws intended to protect women, passed after the 2012 attack on student Jyoti Singh, was also patchy, activists said.

Researchers discovered one hospital in Rajasthan state continued to administer “two-finger” tests – in which doctors insert fingers into the vagina to determine if a woman is sexually active – though the practice was banned across India in 2013.

And though a 2015 law also mandates that victims be paid a minimum of 300,000 rupees (£3,526) in compensation, just three of the 21 rape survivors interviewed by HRW had received any money.

Access to support services such as healthcare or legal aid was also inadequate.

“Women and girls said that they received almost no attention to their health needs, including counselling, even when it was clear they had a great need for it,” the report said.

Vrinda Grover, a supreme court lawyer who specialises in sexual assault cases, said the willingness of women to report sexual crimes had grown “miraculously”.

Nearly 35,000 rape cases were reported to police and 7,000 convictions recorded in 2015, a nearly 40% increase in three years.

“Women are fighting against very heavy odds and are not giving up,” Grover said. “Even if they have to leave home or their families, they are seeking justice. The system is no longer going unchallenged.”

Many individual judges and police officers had also emerged as leaders in “trying to make the system work”, she said.

But she said progress of the past five years had still not reached enough Indian women from less powerful castes, religious minorities, or those living in villages and small cities.

“The kind of resistance they are suffering, both from the system and from society, reflects the true face of where we are,” Grover said. “The system continues to be unresponsive and society has not changed.”

The report found that newly introduced sexual crimes such as harassment, voyeurism and stalking were too frequently not taken seriously, with police often delaying investigating the crimes or filing charges.

In some cases, accused men used the delays to make threats against the alleged victims and their families.

“What is needed is proper training, procedure and accountability for public officials who fail to uphold the security, dignity and rights of survivors,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW’s south Asia director.

“It takes time to change mindsets, but the Indian government should ensure medical, counselling and legal support to victims and their families, and at the same time do more to sensitise police officers, judicial officials and medical professionals on the proper handling of sexual violence cases.”

The report, based on more than 60 interviews, also recommended that India urgently implement a victim and witness protection programme.

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