Motibagh gang rape is not the first incident and perhaps will not be the last either. The the incident was gruesome.
A 30 year-old BPO employee from Mizoram was kidnapped by four men at gun point. She was gang raped in a moving goods carrier vehicle at midnight on November 23, 2010 at Motibagh, South Delhi. Mizoram 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 were victims from Motibagh. The nature of the crime was the same.
Panic spread across city among working women in general and particularly women from North East India. Unprecedented crime against women from North East India continues without any concrete steps taken neither by Delhi police nor a 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.
Definitely there are few things that have gone wrong and it will be important to list some of them. There is a lesson in larger interest to ensure safety of young girls and working womenin our society.
First, Police failed to raise alarm in and around Ring Road and Dhaula Kuan. There was no prompt response upong hearing of a kidnapped woman. If they responded immediately, definitely kidnappers would have been arrested and no such incident will happen.
The news of kidnap at gun point at Motibagh around 1 A.M. after BPO cab dropped at ring road was reported to Police Helpline by the friend of victim. Mizoram’s friend managed to escape and she reached Night Police Patrol within 10 minutes. The Office of North East Support Centre and Helpline was contacted at 1:23 A.M. by the 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. 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 perpetrators to plan the crime.
The BPO Company and cab driver service should hold responsible for failing to follow safety guides for working women at night shift. 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 among women is another failure committed by law enforcing agency. This negligence resulted to 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 and documentation. Most of them appeared in national news papers and Tele Vision channels.
The whistle blow of North East Support Centre and 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 South Delhi.
Fourth, North East boys and girls are discriminated at Police station in many cases. 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. 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. No action was taken on the perpetrators even the cases are registered. This is negligence and justice denied for the innocent victims. Cases are registered in various police stations and no one knows how many have been addressed by the police. Delhi Police must produce a white paper on how many cases registered against sexual abuse and racial attack on people from North East India.
Madhu Chandra is a social activist and research scholar based in New Delhi. He works as Regional Secretary of All India Christian Council (www.indianchristians.in), Spokes Person of North East Support Centre & Helpline (www.nehelpline.net) and National Secretary of All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations (www.scstconfederation.org).
By Madhu Chandra