India’s rape laws are very weak | By Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai

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India’s rape laws are very weak

Rape has become a terrible problem in India today because our laws don’t act as a deterrent which often leaves the culprits go unpunished. Some rapists escape with light punishment or no reprimand at all, as they enjoy political clout.

Young girls and elderly women are scared to travel all alone in public transport and night travel is risky. The government must recruit better qualified and trained personnel to keep a strict vigilance in sensitive and isolated areas, as well as in local trains to induce caution and fear in the minds of criminals. This preventative mode could result in a reduction in the number of crimes taking place and might even make people respect the laws of the country.

The strictest possible punishment with no provision for exemption should be meted out without any consideration for juveniles, as they are ones committing most of the crimes, including rapes and robberies these days. None of the criminals should be released on bail. This will teach other criminals not to commit such gruesome acts of crimes in future.

The existing laws on rape in India are very weak, which is why we have not been able to curb the numerous cases of sexual assaults on women that are happening daily. Perhaps, the most uncomfortable procedure in the investigation of such cases is the identification parade.

In most of these cases, the survivor finds it difficult to identify the accused after the horrible experience she has faced. The men who commit such gruesome acts of rape are frustrated human beings. They have no religion at all and look upon on women as sex objects. To reduce the attacks on women in suburban trains, the woman’s compartment must be separated from the men’s section by a strong mesh that enables the men to be alert to any unsolicited entry or any untoward incident in the women’s compartment. In this way, the men could also respond to any untoward incident eventuality. Also, if these compartments are positioned at the middle of train, it might make it more difficult for the offenders to escape.

It’s high time rape laws are amended in India. After the December 16, 2012, Delhi gang rape case, rape incidents have increased in India. Even children of the age of four and five years are not spared. Sometimes, they are raped by their own relatives or their step-fathers.

Barbaric laws like those of Saudi Arabia and other Arabian Gulf countries should be introduced in India where the rapists are either castrated, beheaded or stoned to death. The law should be such that it upholds the dignity of a woman while giving the rapists the maximum amount of punishment. This will reduce the number of rapes taking place in the country.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Mumbai, India