Even a lockdown doesn’t seem to stop sexual and violent crimes against women and children in India. On April 18, a 17-year-old girl was abducted and raped for three hours while she was on her way to the hospital in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
Twitter users in India, shared news reports of the “shocking” and “horrific” incident that took place in the state’s capital, Bhopal.
The girl, on her way to a hospital, was dragged into a car and taken to a deserted area in BHEL Township, Govindpura, where she was raped.
According to an article on the news website indiatimes.com, it is more surprising that the crime took place in a vehicle while movement is restricted in the country. The report stated: “What’s equally shocking, the car carrying her must have passed through police checkpoints in the 6-8km between JP Hospital and Govindpura — including Board Office Square -- but they were not stopped anywhere.”
The report further states that the teenager and a friend were walking towards JP Hospital when she was abducted by two men from near the hospital gates around 7.30pm on April 18, according to her complaint. One of them raped her. After three hours of the nightmare, the duo left her near Mayur Park and threatened to kill her if she spoke to anyone about the rape. Terrified and traumatised, she kept quiet. The next day, a friend counselled her and advised her to go to police. She filed a complaint at her local police station, which recorded a zero FIR and transferred it to Habibganj police station, which has jurisdiction of the area around the hospital.
Reportedly, the police said they have registered a case under POCSO [Protection of children from of sexual offence] Act.
This is the second rape in Bhopal during India’s lockdown. Some Twitter users highlighted the surge in violence against women and children during the lockdown. Last week, India's National Commission for Women (NCW) said it registered 587 domestic violence complaints between March 23 and April 16.
Tweep @siddhijainnn posted: “A Supreme Court senior advocate tells me she anticipates a major surge in India's divorce rate post-lockdown, partly owing to increased domestic violence and marital rape. Why am I not surprised?”
India announced that more than 50 helplines have been started across India to help women facing domestic violence during the ongoing lockdown. The helplines are run by police, women welfare departments and NGOs working for the rights of women, the official said. The domestic abuse national helpline number is 181 while women police helpline numbers are 1091 and 1291.