The alleged abduction and rape of a woman in Anekal area of Bengaluru has left citizens stunned. A group of us, including me, Srinivas Alavilli, Suraj Chabbria, Rini (North east forum), Divya Titus (IwGO) and others met the Home Minister of Karnataka, Ramalinga Reddy last week. We submitted the following letter to him:
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We write to you in deep anguish this 5th anniversary of the Delhi Nirbhaya incident. The women of Bengaluru are deeply disturbed and shaken by the gruesome rape about 3 weeks ago in Anekal. We are also outraged and angry that no suspects have been apprehended in this monstrous crime and in fact, even sketches are yet to be released by the police.
It is unbelievable that in a small suburb like Anekal, no one has seen the beastly men on motorbikes who preyed on the woman. It leaves us extremely diffident about the state of law enforcement in Bengaluru and creates a strong sentiment of lack of safety for women and distrust in law enforcement.
We beseech you to do the following to address this grave situation immediately.
- Act on war-footing to search and apprehend the criminals. It signals that Karnataka police are not failing to take action.
- Make a special fast-track for this case to send a strong signal of zero tolerance to rapists
- Make the process of justice highly visible and public in this case to send a clear and evident message of deterrence to rapists
- Ensure the victim receives financial support from the state for medical, emotional and mental trauma and social security until she can fend for herself again.
- Request that the Home Minister personally meet the victim, hence ensuring the right priorities are set for the police and in the eyes of the public.
We have great faith in your leadership and trust that you will not abandon 50% of the population.
We sincerely ask and hope you will meet our most reasonable demands and hence reinforce the faith that this government will do right by the women of Karnataka.
On December 19th, we met Bengaluru Rural SP Amit Singh and made the same demands, in addition to requesting him to issue a statement that the law will be enforced and the rapists will be caught and punished. This will assure the women of the state that they are not second class in the eyes of the police.
The Nirbhaya fund is lying unclaimed by the state and we don’t have one crisis centre per district or enough women’s police. Victim relief must be given immediately and law and justice be fast-tracked to serve as a deterrent to rape. Justice delayed is justice denied and it is almost four weeks. The state needs to act swiftly and publicly to infuse confidence that women matter.