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Posted at: Mar 16, 2016, 1:07 AM; last updated: Mar 16, 2016, 1:07 AM (IST)

Too much exposure to pornography to blame for cases of rape by teens

A word of caution

  • Parents should not leave their children alone with domestic help, drivers and strangers.
  • Keep a check on children’s company

Mohit Khanna

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15

The arrest of a boy, who raped a three-year-old girl and slit her throat, has brought to the fore the question why teenage boys are increasingly indulging in such heinous crimes. According to the police, the arrested boy claimed that he was merely 14 years old.

While the police are preparing to conduct an ossification test to ascertain the correct age of the accused, sociologists, psychologists and psychiatrists feel too much exposure to pornographic content readily available on the Internet is resulting in psychological and physiological changes in teenagers.

Beant Juneja, SHO of Division No. 5, said the boy was a school dropout and had worked at a stabiliser repair shop in the Jawahar Nagar Camp area. His father is a vegetable vendor.

The accused told the police that he had been keeping an eye on the victim for the past many days.

On Sunday evening, he got the opportunity when the girl was playing alone outside her shanty. He took the girl in a one-room quarter located in the neighbourhood. He reportedly told the police that he got panicky and decided to kill the girl after she started seeing bleeding.

Police sources said the accused used to watch all adult movies shown at theatres on the Gill road and also had a huge collection of pornographic content on his mobile phone. Though the police are yet to recover his phone.

NGO to fight case on rape victim’s behalf

In the meantime, an NGO has come forward and offered free legal aid to the victim’s family to fight the case on their behalf.

President Gaganpreet Singh, Help Organisation, said: “We have contacted the victim’s family and constituted a team of five lawyers who will fight the case for the victim. We will try that the accused (though minor) must be given maximum imprisonment. Vinod Chawla and Gagandeep Singh Madaan from the NGO said: “It is the responsibility of all of us to stand by the victim’s parents in such a testing time.”

Admn to bear medical expenses

Deputy Commissioner of Police Ravi Bhagat has also directed that all expenses on the victim’s treatment will be borne by the administration. A delegation of SOI workers, led by Meetpal Singh Dugri, also visited Deep Hospital where the girl is undergoing treatment. After meeting the doctors, the delegations also offered to bear the expenses on the victim’s treatment.

Working parents and small families also to blame

Working parents and nuclear families are also responsible for the rise of such vice in society. Due to small family culture, there is no check on the activity of children. Further, the degeneration of principles, moral values and loose social control mechanism (for example selling of tobacco, liquor to children) is also leading to a rise in such cases. The rising cost of quality education is also leading to illiteracy among juveniles.

Paramvir Singh Bhogal, industrialist and blogger

Juveniles indulging in heinous crimes are as much a collective responsibility of society as it is of individuals. Rather than being provided quality education in public schools during their formative years, a majority of underprivileged children are left at the mercy of exploitative elements. An example is small children begging on roads all over the city. Everyday, we turn a blind eye to their manipulation, without giving a thought to what these children will become whey they grow up. Aren’t these “monsters” a creation of our indifference?

Accused, victims mostly from migrant families

From January 2015 to March 2016, 51 cases were registered in which minors were raped. In a majority of cases, the accused and victims both belong to migrant families.

DCP Narinder Bhargav said largely, such problems occur due to the lack of check by parents over their children. As both husband and wife work to eke out a living, their children remain alone and become easy targets.

Experts’  Take

Readily available pornographic material on the Internet is rapidly changing the perception of teenagers towards sexual activities. Owing to growing awareness about sexual activities, psychology and physiology of teenagers is changing at a rapid speed.  The teens are getting mature (attaining puberty) well before the ideal age. The law also has to be flexible accordingly. We cannot stick by the rule book that the boy was minor and he should be let off.  In such heinous crimes, the psychological and physiological evaluation of the accused should be conducted. — Ravinder Kala, Psychologist

There was a time when children below 18 were not allowed to enter cinema halls. But now, everything is available on the Internet.  It has been observed that teenagers are getting mature well before their age. Watching too much of pornographic content also arouse their sexual desires. Further, youngsters from lower socio-economic background have nothing to channelise their energies. There is no one to provide them moral education. In such a situation, children become their easy targets. There is a dire need to rebuild the social setup in order to provide a safe society for children. — Sukhdev Singh, Head, Department of Sociology, PAU

These days, even children from poor families have smart phones and pornographic content is readily available. Watching pornography leads to an upsurge of sex hormone. It is being observed that the sexual orientation of teens is being done earlier than usual.  In such scenario, it is the children who become easy targets of such persons.  Here the age should not be blindly followed as a criterion and a juvenile should not be let off. In some cases, a juvenile commits crime while being fully aware of the fact that the law is on his side. — Rajiv Gupta, Psychiatrist

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