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#BreakTheSilence on Rape Culture

Smita Sharma was molested by a professor and then, her cousin committed suicide after facing abuse. Today, this photojournalist traverses...

domenica 15 novembre 2015

India's Gangrape Capital


The accused security guards being taken to a police station

BENGALURU: On December 16, 2012, the nation woke up to a brutal tragedy. A girl was gangraped in Delhi. Three years past, the horror was repeated last week in Bengaluru, the latest of three incidents in little over a month raising serious concerns over women’s safety in the city. Is the garden city of India the new gangrape capital of the country?

Bengaluru police arrested two security guards inside Cubbon Park for allegedly raping a 30-year-old woman, just across the road from Vidhana Soudha late last week. This is the third incident in a little over a month. Two of the three gangrapes took place in busy areas where there was regular police patrolling.
On October 3, a 22-year-old BPO employee was raped by two drivers in a moving cab in Madiwala. The accused, who offered her a drop, kidnapped and raped her. Last week, a woman was raped in a moving bus by the driver near Hoskote, 25 km from the state capital.
Raju Meti (28) and Bolinn Dass (38), accused in the Wednesday incident, are in police custody. Hailing from Assam, they were employed by Pawan Security Agency, and attached to the Horticulture Department. “The incident took place on Wednesday night when the woman, an engineering graduate, had gone to the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association to get details about training,” a senior police officer told The Sunday Standard.
Around 5.30 pm, she approached the guards and told them she wanted to join a tennis course. They handed her an application and told her to come back on Thursday as the office was closed. She left and was roaming inside Cubbon Park. Around 9.30 pm, the guards noticed her again and told her to leave the park. When she said she did not know the way out, they acted as if they were showing her the way and took her to a road leading to Kasturba Road. “They took her aside into the foliage, saying they would show her a short-cut and raped her,” the official said.
The security agency, whose two security guards at Cubbon Park raped the 30-year-old woman, had hired them without any background checks. Confirming it, Mahantesh Murugod, deputy director, horticulture department, Cubbon Park, said, “No proper background checks of the guards were done by the outsourced company.”

According to M F Saldanha, retired High Court judge, Cubbon Park has a reputation as a hotbed of crime. He told The Sunday Standard that he had given up the fight to clean up the park some years ago. A stone’s throw from the Vidhana Soudha, the park is spread across 250 acres. “The rape of a 30-year-old woman on Wednesday is another reminder of its murkiness. In 1996-97, the park had become notorious as a haven for prostitutes and criminals. It took a group of citizens almost a decade to make the place decent for morning walkers and visitors. However, it isn’t safe after dark,” said Saldanha.
Umesh, president, Cubbon Park Walkers Association, said, “On June 21, we had filed a complaint with the horticulture department seeking proper security at the park. But there has been no response.”
Home Minister G Parameshwara said the police would investigate the incident without any bias. “I have also instructed the city police to verify whether the security agencies had checked their background before recruiting them,” said he.



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