mid-day editorial: Fake rape complaints are a bane to real issues

Jul 12, 2017, 06:02 IST | mid-day correspondent

A 20-year-old woman in Mumbai alleged that she was gang-raped in a moving car as it was driven to Madh Island by four men and later thrown out. The accusation was one of many in the backdrop of the government bringing in tougher laws against rape in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya case.

Now, these accusations have turned out to be bogus. It has been revealed that the girl simply concocted a story because she wanted to exact revenge on a friend, who had abused her mother, by having him harassed by the police.

To probe this accusation, the cops had formed eight teams and spent precious man-hours investigating it. But, when it came to naught, the girl was let off with a warning.

However, it is heinous that women concoct fake rape stories for whatever their reason, and there should be a heavy, pinching fine imposed. They need to pay for all the trouble they have caused the police, the loss of face to the people and most of all, to build a wall of scepticism and mistrust when it comes to real victims or survivors of rape and molestation.

Sex crimes are serious, life shattering. It is important that they are treated that way. To reduce them to a flippant complaint and manufacture stories about rape and molestation, is reprehensible.

Molestation survivors struggle against cynicism and scepticism when they first complain. They are often asked if they were not imagining it. It is they who are looked at suspiciously when they raise their voice. Sexual harassment survivors at the workplace are at times asked if they are not making too much out of nothing. When complaining about molestation is so daunting, fakes like this raise the wall of mistrust higher. They should be ashamed of themselves and face harsh punishment, for this is unforgivable.

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