M A I N   N E W S

CPM to protest rapes in Haryana, Bengal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
Outraged at growing crime against women amid recent incidents of rape in Haryana and West Bengal, the CPM today decided to observe a national-level protest on October 30 to seek the passage of legislation against sexual assault. The decision was taken by the CPM Central Committee here.

Party’s women frontal organisation All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) and others are already holding a protest at Rohtak tomorrow.

Citing the National Crime Records Bureau-2011 figures of 2.28 lakh registered cases, the CPM said rape was the fastest growing crime in India, and shockingly, sexual assaults on children under the age of 14 were as high as 10 per cent of the 24,000 cases registered last year.

“The dismal record of convictions shows that 75 per cent of the rape accused walk free, encouraging criminals to commit this heinous crime. The recent incidents in Haryana and West Bengal, where those in power have sought to brush aside the increasing sexual assault cases as ‘a conspiracy against the government’, add insult to injury, demean rape victims and are condemnable,” it said.

In protest against increasing cases of sexual assault and crimes against women, the CPM will observe a protest and campaign to mobilise public opinion against these attacks.

It will also demand the passage of the Bill pending with the government against sexual assault; accountability procedures and punishment to police officials guilty of delaying filing of FIR, medical examination; ensuring time-bound framework for rape cases through fast track courts.

The AIDWA said with 17 rape cases in the past month in Haryana, violence against women in the state seemed to have reached new levels.

In the context of a highly orthodox society with deeply entrenched patriarchal values along with a rampant consumerist culture that objectifies women, there has been an alliance of reactionary forces that has worsened the status of women.

This is an especially discouraging development as women try to step out of their established parameters and seek education and employment outside the house.

Dalit women in particular are highly vulnerable to these attacks, the organisation said.

The inadequate response of the Haryana Government along with opposition party leader Om Prakash Chautala suggesting reduction in the marriageable age of women, it said, requires efforts by all women’s organisations, human rights groups and concerned individuals to hold the government answerable for its inability to provide security to women in the state and bring the criminals to justice.

“Also, the administration, the police and the hospitals have to be held accountable where they fail to provide care to the rape victims and appropriate action has to be taken against them. Rehabilitation measures are also urgently required,” it said. 

Mobilising Support

* CPM to hold a national-level protest on October 30

* To seek the passage of legislation against sexual assault

* CPM’s All-India Democratic Women’s Association to hold protest at Rohtak today





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