Every week we get to read of at least one case of violence or abuse to. minors in the state. The crimes against minors have gotten more gruesome and more brazen. The failure of the government to create stricter laws to curb this menace and people to be more sensitive to such crimes, has seem a rise in child abuse case by over 40 per cent year-on-year since the last five years (as per data computed from different NGOs and Police). Early last month, a four year old girl was allegedly raped by a 21-year man. Crimes of such nature were unheard of a couple of years ago in the state.
GoaChronicle highlights some of the cases that have come to light in the last four-months; it may be recalled that in the latter part of September a young minor girl was rescued by the police, she was raped at an ice-cream parlor. But it did not start there, she was first taken by a man to Panjim, later Porvorim and kept her in confinement for a couple of days; she was subjected to repeated rapes. She was then handed over to yet another man, who took her to Miramar Beach and molested her yet again and even kept her confined in his house and repeatedly raped her. The second man then brought her to Margao and left her at the KTC bus stand. At the bus stand, a bus conductor befriended her and took her to the ice-cream parlor and raped her.
Yet another minor abuse case that grabbed attention was the molestation of a girl by the teacher in Shiroda; wherein an FIR was filed and the teacher arrested and then released on bail and strangely the family wanted to withdraw the complaint. But in the girl’s statement and that of her friends, it is clearly stated that the teacher touched her private body parts on repeated instances and this has traumatized her. But political interference has put the case in cold storage after the
family were coaxed into accepting an settlement.
States Auda Viegas of Baillancho Ekvott, “People need to be more sensitive to such dastardly crimes. Government has also ensure offenses of this nature are treated with seriousness and they must instill fear; which is currently no-existent since some police and NGOs tend to move to the beats of the politicians.”
Last month you had a 21-year old youth arrested for allegedly raping a four-year old girl from Kalay Village in Sanguem.
But the shocking news was the case that happened in the capital city of Goa, where the rape victim set herself on fire, due to the fear that her molester (who was her teacher in the school), was released on bail by the court.
Here is another shocking case – An orphan minor girl aged 15 years, who was staying with her elder brother was raped by a neighbor and then with the help of his friends threatened her to leave the area and go. When she refused the abuser and his friends came to her house when her brother was not there and threatened her to leave nor they will rape her again and inform all the neighbors. The victim girl fearing that her name and her family’s name will get spoilt left her house. In the night she took shelter in one of the bus stops near the MES college. In the night one truck driver saw her in the bus stand and in the night raped her.
In the morning she managed to reach Ponda and got a job in a factory and started working. Unfortunately, she after some months came to know that she is pregnant. Fearing harassment she did not inform anyone. After some time when her stomach started showing she was asked to leave the job and removed from the house where she was staying. Fearing that her family and community will not accept her she went to Baina.
Let’s take a look at another case: a beauty parlour owner developed a close friendship with a 16 year old girl who had visited her for beauty treatment. She encouraged the minor girl to hang around at her parlor during school hours also to stay back at her residence in the night. While the minor girl was visiting the parlour owner at her parlour and at the residence, the parlour owner’s husband developed a relationship with her.
Surprisingly the wife was not aware about the sexual relationship the husband was having with the minor girl. The husband and the wife took the minor girl to Shirdee, Mahabaleshvar various place and stayed in the same room where, husband had sex with the minor girl in the presence of his wife.
When the parents of the girl came to know about the sexual relationship they stopped the girl from visiting the parlour. Since the minor girl was not visiting the parlour, the husband and wife threatened the girl that they have made a video film of her and they will show the film to her friends.
“Every week the papers will give you an indication of the rising crimes against children. We need to be more vigilant. Goans always talk about places like Haryana being popular for such crimes, but what is happening in Goa over the last few months, are we not moving in the direction of some Haryana like states,” expressed Arun Pandey, ARZ.
Child Abuse is a serious offense and government both at the state and Centre must make laws stringent enough to punish the guilty and send a message to others. Goa does have a separate Act for crimes against children. But more than that it should be the awareness that is created at school and community level with the children and families; that will help instill a simple fact that the taboo associated with child-abuse victims needs to be eradicated and the community must come out in support of such victims so that they gain confidence and the guilty is punished.