Patna: A prominent politician has announced a bounty for killing rapists as a rise in cases has triggered protests in Bihar.
According to an official report, more than 7,300 incidents of rape have taken place in the past six years in the state, which has been under the rule of Janata Dal United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar since 2005.
Rajesh Ranjan, alias Pappu Yadav, a former parliamentarian from Bihar, has announced a cash reward of Rs100,000 (Dh5,325.1) to anyone who shoots dead rapists.
7,300incidents of rape have taken place in the past six years in the state.
“I will give Rs100,000 for killing one rapist. If a person kills two rapists, he will be given Rs200,000 and so on,” Yadav, a former parliamentarian, said over the phone on Wednesday.
He made this announcement shortly after meeting two sisters who were allegedly gang raped by seven youths in the northern Bihar district of Sitamarhi, considered a holy place for Hindus for being the birthplace of Sita, wife of Hindu deity Ram.
The sisters were waiting for their mother near their home last week when the youths abducted them, took them to an isolated place and raped them. They also took videos and posted them on social media.
“Rape fills poison in the life of victims who are left to die a slow death every day. While no one would want to marry such girls, even if their weddings had been finalised, maximum chances are that they would get broken once the husbands get aware of these incidents,” Yadav said.
He demanded that the rape cases should be taken up on a priority basis by the courts and the rapists must be handed out a death sentence within three months of trial. According to him, the majority of the rape victims in Bihar have been from Dalits/backward families.
Rape fills poison in the life of victims who are left to die a slow death every day. While no one would want to marry such girls, even if their weddings had been finalised, maximum chances are that they would get broken once the husbands get aware of these incidents.
He said two governments have changed in New Delhi after the 2012 Delhi case in which a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was beaten, gang raped and tortured in a private bus, but nothing has changed in India.
“Rather, rape cases have registered 50 per cent increase since then,” Yadav added. “Why would we announce bounty on rapists when the government acts to punish the rapists?”
But even after his bounty announcements, two more such incidents took place in Bihar over the weekend.
In the first incident, a Muslim woman and her daughter who fought off a gang of sexual assailants were beaten up, tonsured and paraded through the streets. In another incident, a grade 12 schoolgirl was kidnapped by car-borne youths and gang raped in the moving vehicle.
Yadav is not the only Indian politician losing faith in the system. Last year, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician from central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh had announced a bounty of Rs500,000 for those who behead those involved in the rape of an eight-year-old girl.
“We demand capital punishment for the accused. I have said I will give Rs500,000 to the person who gets their head if they escape death,” BJP politician Sanjeev Mishra had announced.