While their victims undergo a lifetime of trauma and are scarred for life, rape accused and molesters go scot-free, feel family members and relatives of two victims from the city.
The vicious gang rape of the 23-year-old woman in Delhi has brought to the fore the blind eye culture prevalent in the justice system that has allowed perpetrators of such grievous acts to roam freely, according to family members. Kin demand that such criminals should be given harsher punishment, detained for more years in jail or even externed from city limits.
Take for instance, a Bollywood actor-turned-director’s 13-year-old daughter who was picked up by Pritesh Doshi (24), in May 2009, and later sexually assaulted. Police arrested the accused on May 19 on charges of rape, and after questioning the accused confessed to having unnatural sex with the teenager. The lower court convicted Doshi, but after he appealed to a higher court he was granted bail and is now roaming free.
“I feel very bad and agitated when I see him at a coffee shop or some other place. He is roaming free, and has no remorse of what he has done to my daughter. Such people should be externed or punished for life. When I see him roaming with other girls, I feel like bashing him up in public, but I can’t do it as it is against the law. He is enjoying his life, which is the worst thing to see.”
The teenager was picked and forced into an auto rickshaw while she was travelling with her friend. Later Doshi took her to guesthouse in Malad where he violated her. Late in the evening, the girl came home and revealed her ordeal to her parents, who lodged a police complaint.
In another similar incident that took place in Kalina, Santacruz (E), the Vakola police had arrested Raju Jadhav (25), a BMC contract cleaner who had molested more than eight girls from the area. Jadhav molested girls aged between 8 and 12, and later escaped. There was constant fear among residents, and after four months he was arrested on April 29. Unfortunately, in this case too, the accused was granted bail on surety of Rs 5,000 the very next day by the court. Infuriated residents then complained to then Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik who suspended a police officer for negligence in the case. However, Jadhav is still roaming free today.
Kalina resident Savio Alves said, “There is still fear among residents. We don’t let our children play alone. We are afraid that the accused may strike again. Whenever our child wants to go out there is always an escort. We demand that such criminals should be externed. Also the accused should be handed out harsh punishment, and should not be released within a day.”