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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Bihar’s Nirbhaya – Related Phenomena & Political Complacency

Bihar saw a brutal gang rape of a 21 year old girl recently, which hardly got discussed in national media. The girl was gang-raped by five men in Bihar’s Motihari district on 15 June after she and her mother protested against an earlier molestation attempt by the main accused, Samiullah. By all accounts, it seems that the victim went through a terrible assault which was endorsed by main accused Samiullah’s family. Names of the other accused are Aliullah, Javiullah, Smrullah, Klimullah and Nurullah – all relatives of Samiullah.

News reports mention that the victim had earlier been molested by Samiullah and a video of the same was made by him with the intent to blackmail. The next time he tried to molest her, the victim used a blade to defend herself. The victim and her mother then went to protest against this harassment to the accused’s house but were abused and threatened instead. The police failed to take any action all this while. Enraged by the girl and her mother’s defiance, the accused and his accomplices dragged her out of her house, gang raped her and inserted a hand gun and sticks in her private parts. The victim is critical and recovering in the hospital.

Bihar Nirbhaya 1
Image via India News

The whole machinery of state government and police was very complacent – the victim’s complaint was not registered by the police instantly, nor a proper medical examination conducted for a week which has weakened the whole case. It has given rise to a perception that the police and administration are trying to protect the Muslim culprits to pander to the ‘secular’ votebank.

Administration tries to cover up – leftist media outlet laps it up

This report says that as per Motihari civil surgeon Dr Prashat Kumar, the report of the medical board constituted to examine the victim suggested no injury in her private parts. But he also says the report could not confirm rape as the examination was delayed. This was enough for the leftist site CatchNews to declare that the ‘Motihari gang rape never took place.’ Their report uses the time-tested method of victim blaming: it hints at an ‘affair’ between Samiullah and the girl based on call records – it seems any blackmailer harassing a woman over phone can now claim to have a relationship with that woman based on call records. This method of victim blaming by police and left-liberal media was also seen in the gang rape case of the 40 year-old ASHA worker from Muzaffarnagar, UP. The CatchNews report also allows some anonymous police officer to slander a social activist/lawyer who is alleged to have instigated the girl to file the rape report.

This is how left-liberal media functions – they will propagate a dubious police version to cover up a crime when the accused is Muslim, but will go to any lengths to prove police/administration complicity if the victim is a Muslim (especially if such a crime occurs in a so-called communal state like Gujarat).

Jungle-raj 2 in Bihar – A 10 year old also gang raped

Another equally gruesome gang rape occurred on 15 June in Motihari. As per this report in Dainik Jagran, a 10 year old was abducted and gang raped by 3 men from a neighboring village. Two men –  Pramod Sahni, Kamal Sahni – have been arrested thus far. The girl’s family is alleging that they are being threatened to withdraw the case. Predictably, this second case has not even made it to English newspapers, as there is no ‘secular’ narrative at stake.

Such gruesome crimes and apathetic police response once again show that Jungle raj-2 has well and truly taken root in Bihar ever since the JDU-RJD alliance swept to power last year. Bihar is headed in the same direction as West Bengal, where police is a mute spectator as politically emboldened criminal elements prey on poor Hindus.

Family endorsement of rape?

Going back to the 21 year old’s gangrape, what is appalling is the endorsement of the crime by the accused’s family and even the participation in it. A family is supposed to be an institution which guides its children away from criminal activity, but this phenomenon of family endorsement of crime has been observed primarily in some cases where groups of Muslims have perpetrated the crime. It is understandable that a family supports its children in legal fights but to support and encourage the children to commit a crime is an extremely worrying behavior. Sankrant Sanu has aptly raised these pertinent questions in this write up in rediff.com.

Whether it was the case of a harassed girl and her mother being beaten by accused Noor Ali’s family in Manikchak, West Bengal, or whether it was the case of public beating and killing of dentist Pankaj Narang in Delhi that was encouraged by the primary accused Nasir Khan’s mother, this is turning out to be a very worrying observation.

Also, gang rape/ mass harassment as a crime perpetuated to quieten a victim, or teach a lesson, or as a form of protest can be connected to the phenomenon of ‘Taharrush Jamai‘, which is an Egyptian term for mass sexual harassment/rape. It has been widely observed in Egypt, more since 2005, and went international when an American correspondent, Lara Logan was encircled by hundreds of men and sexually assaulted. The phenomenon spread and then was observed in various European countries. It was massively protested in Britain and Germany when various women reported mass harassment and rapes on the new year 2016 eve. Bharat has long been seeing mass sexual assaults though.

The relation of family endorsement of crime and mass harassment to religion, are probably driving a certain level of political correctness in dealing with these heinous crimes aggressively. The system, including respective governments, judiciary and police, are apathetic to studying and acknowledging the deep rooted causes and this is emboldening certain quarters to commit crimes with impunity.

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