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Moti Bagh Gang Rape: What Went Wrong?

To Make Delhi ‘A Safe City’ ‘“ Must Act Proactive ‘NOT’ Reactive

Motibagh gang rape is not the first incident and perhaps will not be the last either. The gruesome was the incident ‘“ 30 years old BPO employee from Mizoram kidnapped by four men at gun point and gang raped in a moving goods carrier vehicle at midnight on November 23, 2010 at Motibagh, South Delhi, when she and her friend was dropped by company cab 100 yards away from her rented home. It is a repetition of Dhaula Kuan gang rape episode of 2005 ‘“ both victims from Mizoram at same place, at same time in same nature of crime.

Panic spread across city among working women in general and particularly among girls and working women from North East India. Unprecedented crime against women from North East India continues without any concrete steps taken neither by Delhi police nor concerned government.

What actually went wrong in Motibagh gang rape case? Could the gang rape be prevented? Did Delhi Police acted promptly? Who should be held responsible? Will the justice be given to victim? Will Delhi police repeat the story of failure to nab gang rapists? These are some of the unanswered questions. A lesson enough to learn to be more proactive then reactive.

Definitely there are few things that have gone wrong and it will be important to list some of them, not to accuse but learn the lesson in larger interest to ensure safety to young girls and working women.

First, Police failed to raise alarm in and around Ring Road and Dhaula Kuan. Have it been informed to Police Control Room by the night patrolling police personnel, who reached the spot within 10 minutes after the news of kidnapped informed and the Control Room would have alarmed in and around Ring Road, Motibagh and Dhaula Kuan, definitely kidnappers would have been nabbed and prevented the crime of gang rape. Unfortunately, this did not happen and seen clearly the laps committed by Delhi Police on duty.

The news of kidnap at gun point at Motibagh around 1 AM after BPO cab dropped at ring road was reported to Police Helpline No 100 by the friend of victim, who managed to escape and Night Police Patrolling reached the spot within 10 minutes. The Office of North East Support Centre & Helpline was contacted at 1.23 AM, by time Police have reached the spot already.

Secondly, the Gurgaon based BPO company, where the victim was working has failed to follow safety guidelines provided for working women in night shifts and so the cab driver who drop the victim at ring road, which is 100 yards away from rented house where victim used to live along with her sister. Two young women walking at such time at night and isolated place is not even safe for men. They have been dropped there for months and years, which has left space for perpetuators to plan and execute such crime.

The BPO Company and cab driver or cab service should hold responsible for failing to follow safety guides for working women at night shift and laps committed, which led the crime to take place. North East Support Centre & Helpline has appealed Delhi police to book the company when a delegation met Joint Commission of Delhi Police, Mr. Amulya Patnaik on 25 November.

Third, denial to accept the issues and problems of sexual abuse and racial attacked face by the people from North East India in Delhi and NCR is another laps committed by law enforcing agency and concerned governments. This laps resulted more crimes committed against the people from North East India.

The targeting North East girls for sexual abuse and racial discrimination to general public from North East India begun after Dhaula Kuan gang rape case of another BPO employee from Mizoram in 2005. This has been informed to Delhi Government and Delhi and NCR police through series of memorandums, documentation and most of them appeared in national news papers and Tele Vision channels.

The whistle blow of North East Support Centre & Helpline on the issues and problems of sexual abuse and racial discrimination was never taken seriously by law enforcing agencies and concerned governments. Rather denied for so long until 19 years old Naga girl was murdered by an IIT student on October 22, 2009 at Murnika, South Delhi and forgotten and perhaps awaken again this time and never know how long this will be remembered.

Fourth, North East boys and girls are discriminated at Police station in many cases. Until Zero tolerance to Delhi Police Stations from Head Quarter sometime mid 2009, it was very difficult for any North East boys or girls to get their complaints registered in police stations. Their complaints were denied, delayed and manipulated the movement they see the face of people from North East India. In many cases, FIRs will not get registered without pressure from higher police officers and media pressure.

This struggle continues particularly in Gurgaon Police stations, many crimes went unreported, rather threatened. No action taken on perpetuators even cases are registered. One will really doubt, how could such been done to its own citizens. Cases are registered in various police stations and no one knows how many have been taken action. Delhi Police must produce a white paper on how many cases registered against sexual abuse and racial attack on people from North East India been taken up so far and their status.

A lesson must learn now from lapses committed to make Delhi a safe city. One and all must stand up – not as reactive but be a proactive. Acting reactive – waiting crimes to happen then act will not solve challenges. In most of the cases, Delhi police waited to react. Steps taken after Moti Bagh gang rape, should be monitored, checked and executed week after week and month after month throughout the year, then these steps will play as proactive measurement. As part of proactive approach, it will be appropriate to re-look into Delhi Police (Amendment) Bill 2010, in which not a single line is mentioned to address the issues and problems faced by the people of North East India.

Decision to deploy night police patrolling at unsafe areas where most of the crimes repeatedly take place, installing CCTV cameras, stringent guidelines to BPO companies to follow safety measurement deployment of women police night patrolling and strengthening the existing police mechanism are some of the proactive steps that law and order enforcing agencies must ensure. Lastly not the least, BPO companies must provide pepper stray free of cost to all night shift working women for self defense.

*The article is written by Madhu Chandra

*The author is a social activist and research scholar based in New Delhi. Regional Secretary of All India Christian Council (www.indianchristians.in), Spokesperson of North East Support Centre & Helpline (www.nehelpline.net) and National Secretary of All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations (www.scstconfederation.org).

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