In January this year, art teacher Kanhaiya Naik, 45, was arrested for the alleged rape of a girl student. In July he was released on bail and days later the girl committed suicide. Naik was rearrested and is now out on bail.
That, in a nutshell, is the story of how Goa acts against crimes against women. This example is not an exception.
The number of rapes is increasing-there were 38 registered till September 2012-and in most cases the accused move freely on bail.
A cursory glance at the crime graph in the state tells that rapes are on the rise. In a majority of the cases the victims have been minor girls, and those accused are known to the victim, a fact that makes detection easy and gives Goa police a detection rate of 92% in rape cases.
The conviction rate, especially in crimes against minors, is not so high. Principal district and special judge Anuja Prabhudesai, who also presides over Children's Court, recently said, "Between 2003 and 2012 the conviction rate has been only 52 and it is poor." She was referring to crimes against minors and most rape or molestation cases in Goa have been against minors.
It was easy for the police to zero in on Naik. On December 29, 2011, Naik had picked up the girl, a student, from her residence stating he would give her career guidance and taken her to his flat at Ribandar. Police sources said Naik had clicked photographs of the girl and also molested her. The incident came to light on December 31, 2011, when the girl's mother saw some marks on her daughter's neck. Sources said when her mother had questioned the girl, she had revealed that Naik had molested her.
In another case, last week, a 16-year-old girl from a middleclass family, was raped by two persons at two different locations on the same day. One of the accused is a classmate of the victim and also a minor.
Police sources said the accused classmate, a boy from a well to do family, lured the girl to accompany him to a cinema hall at Margao to watch a movie by skipping classes. Both are students of a higher secondary school near Margao. After watching the movie, he forcibly took the girl to a toilet within the complex and had sexual intercourse with her.
The girl was then forcibly picked up at the Margao bus stand by another person who took her to an isolated spot and raped her. Police are yet to establish the identity of the second accused who also filmed the act. Police have arrested the minor boy and he is lodged at the state protective home.
In another shocking case, in September a minor girl was picked up from Margao by an unidentified person and was confined by four persons at various places in the state for over 10 days. A woman was also involved in the case.
The man had taken the girl to Panaji and later confined her to his house in Porvorim and repeatedly raped her. He later handed the victim over to another person who took her to Miramar beach and molested her. He had then taken the girl to Margao and left her at the bus stand. While she was there, Wassim Kalaigar of Margao made acquaintance with the minor and took her to an ice cream parlour where he too raped her. Kalaigar then brought her back to the KTC bus stand, Margao from where she went back to Panaji.
From Panaji she was brought back to Margao by relatives who saw her in Panaji. Margao police arrested the accused and three are out on bail, while two are in judicial lockup.
The Rape Files
Year Rape cases registered Rape cases detected
2012 (till Sep)3835 [TOI]