BY SHAIKH JAMALUDDIN
PANAJI: There has been a phenomenal rise in the number of rape cases in the state, but a curious fact is that in most of the cases the accused is known to the victim.
More often than not such rape cases are registered after a love affair goes sour or the parents of the young female ‘victim’ – not in favour of the pairing – force their ward to file a rape case.
The Panaji city has witnessed shocking incidents of rapes occurring again and again, but the culprits were either released on bail or acquitted for want of evidence.
The heinous crime keeps showing the upward trend as no deterrent action is forthcoming from the law enforcement authorities. There are many cases which could serve as an eye-opener for the police.
If one goes by the Goa police detection rate — it is very high and climbs to 92 per cent while the conviction rate is just over 60 per cent, revealed a top police official in the state.
While explaining further how rapes take place, he revealed that first either boy or girl makes advances, they fall in love, and then they have mutual sex.
“The girl, who in trouble, then proposes to marry the one with whom she had shared sexual happiness. But if the boy refuses to honour her demand, then the agitated girl through her parents lodges a complaint of rape. When the case is charge-sheeted, they compromise and many cases fall flat or sometimes witnesses turn hostile due to fear,” he said.
Nearly 30 out of 42 rape incidents. that occurred in the state during the last 12 months, happened in North Goa police jurisdiction.
According to the police, these “rape cases,’’ were not really rape cases but were “love rapes” or “date rapes,’’ as it is evident from the circumstances in which the rapes occurred and complaints were lodged. In a very negligent number of cases, the rape accused were strangers.
The records revealed that most of the accused were either relatives, or from the friend circle, or from the neighbourhoods, and in very rare cases were strangers.
In a recent case, a student from a city school was raped; the accused was her art teacher, who on the pretext of guiding her in her studies took her to his flat and raped her on several occasions. The mother of the girl, who discovered `love bites’ on her neck, questioned her but she refused to divulge any information. Her father, a security guard, took it very seriously and came to the police station. An NGO was summoned and she was referred to the GMC and the teacher was arrested; accused was later released on bail, but when the victim girl, came to know about the release of the teacher, resorted to self immolation out of fear.
In 2004, an art college student was gang-rapped after she was drugged in the college toilet on the annual day function. Now, everybody is out on bail; the girl went through mental distress. In another case, a son of an hotelier from Boca de Vaca along with his friends kidnapped a telephone operator, who was known to them, in their car and gang-raped her at an unknown destination and dumped her on the Panaji church steps and disappeared — leaving her to die.
A good Samaritan shifted her to the GMC, but when she married she developed multiple complications.
In yet another case, a bus conductor, after noticing his former female classmate alone waiting for the bus, called her in the bus, but when she refused he pulled her in and detained her and raped her several times. The girl was studying with her in a school in Porvorim. [NT]