in Viet Nam
A new case of female genital mutilation (FGM) is recorded in the UK every two hours, new official figures reveal. Most of the victims identified by the NHS were aged between 25 and 40.
It has sparked calls for authorities to do more to prosecute perpetrators – there has not been a successful case since FGM was outlawed in 1985.
According to figures released last week by the NHS, there were up to 6,196 women and girls who showed up at GPs across the country for FGM treatment between April 2017 and May 2018. Of these, 4,495 were newly recorded cases of FGM.
Some 70 cases of the 6,195 were detected when the person was still a child.
Leethen Bartholomew, head of the National FGM Centre, which aims to eradicate FGM in the UK by 2030, said in a statement: “Shockingly, the figures confirm that dozens of women and girls born in the UK have undergone FGM, despite the practice being illegal for over 30 years. Yet there still hasn’t been a single successful prosecution to hold perpetrators to account.
“FGM is child abuse and it’s vital that we work with affected communities to change hearts and minds about the practice.”
It was reported in March that cases of alleged FGM in the UK had increased fivefold since 2014. According to responses by 47 police forces obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO), there were 1,337 reported cases of FGM over a three-year period between 2014 and the end of 2016. Cases had risen from 137 in 2014 to 647 in 2016.
The latest data from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), however, shows there have been just 36 referrals of alleged FGM to the CPS since 2010. Despite the government criminalizing FGM in 1985, there has not been a single successful prosecution.
This is just disgraceful.
UPI -- India's Supreme Court on Monday dismissed appeals by three men convicted in a six-year-old gang rape case, upholding death sentences it handed down last year.
The three men were convicted a year ago of gang raping a 23-year-old paramedic student in December 2012. They were seeking a review of the verdict with hopes to change their death sentences to life terms.
This story seems to be referring to the famous Delhi bus gang-rape and murder. It occurred in Dec 2012 to a 23 y/o woman who was a physiotherapy intern not a paramedic student. 6 men were charged - one was a minor who served a couple years in prison and was then released. One of the men died in custody and it is not clear whether it was suicide or murder.
The details of the assault are gruesome beyond belief, and, unfortunately, it seems the most horrific act was performed by the minor.
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan rejected the petitions filed by the men -- Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh -- saying there were no grounds for review.
The decision affirms the Supreme Court's May 2017 death penalty decision.
Bhushan said the three cannot re-argue the case under the false premise of a review petition, The Hindu Times reported.
The fourth man convicted in the rape, Akshay Kumar Singh, (I'm not sure this name is correct) was not part of the petition for review. His attorney said he will file a separate appeal next week.
Asha Devi, the victim's mother, told ANI, "I am very happy with the judgment."
Devi added in a post on ANI's Twitter page: "Our struggle does not end here. Justice is getting delayed. It's affecting other daughters of the society. I request judiciary to tighten their judicial system, serve justice to Nirbhaya by hanging them as soon as possible & help other girls & women."
The only remedy left for the three men is a curative petition, in which they would have to show judicial bias against them.
The rape attracted national media coverage and led to protests calling for worldwide attention to violence against women in India.
While this attention did help produce India's POCSO laws and courts, it seems to have done very little to stem the flow of extreme violence against girls and women by Indian men. The Delhi bus rape story was one of the first stories on the blog nearly 6 years ago. Since then there have been dozens of such stories of brutal insanity that seems completely unabated.
Newcastle Anglican bishops referred for disciplinary action
NEWCASTLE Anglican diocese has initiated disciplinary action against three former bishops condemned by the child abuse royal commission for their roles in failing to stop “a group of perpetrators” sexually abusing Hunter children for at least 30 years.
The diocese has referred former Bishops of Newcastle Alfred Holland and Roger Herft to the Australian Anglican Church’s Episcopal Standards Commission, and former Assistant Bishop Richard Appleby to the diocese’s professional standards committee, after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse made adverse findings against them in December, 2017.
The commission found Archbishop Herft, who headed the diocese between 1993 and 2005, had a “weak and ineffectual response” to child sexual abuse allegations that was a “failure of leadership” which “showed no regard for the need to protect children”. The Perth archbishop resigned after his evidence to the royal commission in Newcastle in August, 2016.
The discipline referrals followed a barrister’s report to Newcastle Anglican diocese in March with recommendations for action after the royal commission’s scathing assessment of decades of failure by church leaders in its 42nd case study final report.
In late March the diocese held disciplinary proceedings against three other convicted child sex offenders, priest Lindsay McLoughlin, lay preacher James Brown and trainee priest Ian Barrack. The royal commission exposed how senior Newcastle Anglican church leaders failed to respond to reports of their abuse. McLoughlin was defrocked and the diocese banned Brown and Barrack from ever holding church positions.
Newcastle Anglican Bishop Peter Stuart said the referrals were part of the diocese’s response to both the royal commission final report released on December 15, 2017, and the final report into the diocese which was released a week earlier.
The response included establishing a four-member investigation and support team, including two former senior NSW Police detectives specialising in child sexual abuse and two counsellors, Bishop Stuart said.
The diocese has received new allegations against church representatives from the past whose names have not been previously linked with child sexual abuse, he said.
“We’ve had more people come forward with complaints about known historical offenders but we’ve had other people come forward with new historical offenders. These are matters which can span 60 years, back to the late 1950s,” Bishop Stuart said.
The diocese has so far paid about $4 million in compensation to abuse victims, and expects to pay about $11 million in total. The diocese is selling properties, including church buildings, to pay redress but also for other strategic aims, Bishop Stuart said.
It has already sold the Morpeth Theological College site to help meet redress payments. The royal commission heard evidence of child sexual abuse directly linked to the college, which produced notorious offenders including senior diocesan priest Peter Rushton, priests Robert Ellmore, Allan Kitchingman, Stephen Hatley-Gray and at least 12 other alleged and convicted child sex offenders.
The royal commission strongly criticised Bishop Holland for promoting Rushton in 1983 despite an allegation Rushton sexually abused the 5-year-old son of a junior priest, and despite six people reporting allegations about Rushton to him in 1979 and 1980. The commission rejected Bishop Holland’s denials of knowledge about Rushton’s sexual abuse of children.
It found Bishop Holland took no disciplinary action against Hatley-Gray who was convicted for the crime, or warned other dioceses. There was evidence Hatley-Gray had a formal role in a memorial service in 1992 for two victims of notorious serial rapist Ivan Milat, the royal commission said.
The commission found the then Bishop Roger Herft’s “inaction to Rushton contributed to the diocese’s systematic failure to make perpetrators accountable for their conduct”.
“By February 2003 Herft could have been in no doubt Rushton had a history of behaviour that required investigation.”
Bishop Stuart said the Anglican Church had changed protocols about confession to improve child safety, and it was not an offence within the Anglican Church to report abuse allegations heard in confession to police.
He said the diocese was “taking each recommendation from the royal commission, looking at it and responding. The community doesn’t want to hear of our intentions, they want to know what we’re doing,” he said.
A school lollipop man charged with sickening sex abuse crimes against children as young as 12 months old has been granted bail despite claims he is a risk to the community.
After two years in custody, a District Court judge granted Hyde bail of $100,000 on Monday, saying he deserved a presumption of innocence.
Hyde was arrested and charged with more than 300 sex abuse crimes in 2016 after police raids allegedly uncovered thousands of child pornography images and videos at his home.
Prosecutor Danielle Clarke told the court some of the videos showed the defendant assaulting his victims.
'The fact he didn't see he was doing anything wrong poses a risk to the community,' Ms Clarke told the court.
Hyde was granted conditional bail this week, meaning he must report to the police three times a week and have no contact with his alleged victims.
He must also remain inside his house between 9pm and 7am.
Hyde's lawyer said the case was unlikely to go to trial until next year, meaning his client could be out on bail for years.
Child protection advocate Mary Pritchett said she was disgusted by the court's decision.
'You put the safety of the children first,' she told Nine News.
'It's not worth the risk.'
The 77-year-old, who has interim name suppression, had taken his laptop and external hard drive to a Blenheim computer repair shop to be fixed when staff found four videos in July last year.
The videos were from a notorious child abuse series involving an infant, "one of the worst" circulating on the internet and "highly sought after by child offenders internationally", a police summary said.
Police also found more than 100 videos and photographs of "dehumanising" sexual content, and photographs of pre-teen girls.
The man was supposed to be sentenced for three charges of possessing objectionable publications at the Blenheim District Court on Tuesday. But his lawyer Rob Harrison was still looking for a place where his client could serve an electronically-monitored sentence such as home detention, and asked for the sentencing to be adjourned. "He's having great difficulty finding another address that he can rent."
Gee, I wonder why? I've got an address for him that won't cost him a cent.
However, probation had recommended a sentence of supervision as having a more rehabilitative effect, which would not require the man to be electronically monitored. Perhaps the court would consider supervision instead, Harrison said.
Judge Bill Hastings said the video series was "possibly among the most serious publications in the industry". He had not watched them but had come across similar material during his time as chief censor, he said.
"Every time it's downloaded it's increasing the demand which increases the supply. These are far from victimless crimes. Supervision, to my mind, doesn't sufficiently denounce or deter."
Harrison told the judge while he had not watched the videos, he had watched a documentary about the man who created the videos, who had since been caught and the infant victim in the videos had been rescued. "In many other cases, especially in this industry, their libraries become huge.
"But here, he's just looking at two or three charges which suggests to me ... a passing interest, not the habitual viewing and drowning yourself in this sort of behaviour. That, I think, sets him apart from most of the other offenders I've seen."
Harrison said he once defended a teenage "web master" who encouraged parents to create videos he could circulate. "That's one extreme. The four videos are horrendous, I don't have to see them to know how bad they are ... But when you look at [the defendant] in that respect, my submission is intensive supervision, given his age and medical condition. The need to denounce and deter is not as great."
Judge Hastings said he and Harrison were "approaching the same page here, though from opposite directions". But prison would still be the start point for sentencing purposes, Judge Hastings said.
He remanded the man on bail to October 2 for sentencing.
He also continued the man's interim name suppression, though that would be debated at sentencing, as well as whether the man should go on the sex offender register.
New child sex offence laws have been slammed as “a cruel joke and an insult to survivors” by Maitland Pastor Bob Cotton, who wants harsher penalties for concealing abuse.
The NSW Government has recently introduced law reforms in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse – but they appear to have fallen well short of community expectation.
The reforms include new offences such as failing to report child abuse and failing to protect against child abuse, both of which carry a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.
To put that in perspective, offences which also carry a maximum of two years imprisonment include offensive language, damaging fountains and obstructing traffic.
“It’s in there with DUI,” Pastor Bob Cotton said. “[It’s] nothing more than an insult to survivors.”
Paul Gray, who was sexually abused as a child by the late Fr Peter Rushton in the 1960s, said he felt “outraged and absolutely gutted,” before correcting himself.
“Actually … I feel betrayed,” he said. “A person witnessed my abuse – that priest went on to abuse probably hundreds of boys. If that person did something, then that could have been prevented.”
Pastor Cotton said while the new laws will make it easier to convict for the crime, the penalty is no harsher than a Section 316 (Conceal Serious Indictable Offence), which Archbishop Philip Wilson was sentenced under last week.
Wilson was given 12 months in custody with a non parole period of six months for failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse against paedophile priest Father Jim Fletcher.
“Magistrate [Robert] Stone went to lengths to stress the seriousness of Wilson’s crime but was unable to deal with it effectively because of the inadequacy of the existing legislation,” he said.
“I was in the courtroom when that sentence was handed down. It was a gut-wrenching insult.
“The community is sick of seeing ineffective sentencing of criminals whose actions, or in this case, inaction destroy the lives of the most vulnerable and innocent in our society.”
Pastor Cotton said the new laws did not reflect public expectation, the degree of criminality or act as a deterrent.
In comparison to the new concealment laws, persistent child sex offenders could face life in prison under the reformed legislation.
“If we’ve got a situation where the primary offence is recognised as serious as that, then concealing the crime should be considered more grievous,” Pastor Cotton said.
“Where’s the balance?” Mr Gray added. “If a child is being raped, the paedophile is certainly not going to go to the police.”
The cover-up of abuse in the church was what allowed it to continue, Pastor Cotton said, and led to many more people’s lives being ruined over the years. “If the people who knew would have acted, possibly thousands of lives would have been spared this grief,” he said.
“Every one of those kids has a lifetime sentence.”
Mr Gray said he knew of five people who took their own lives because of the abuse inflicted on them by Fr Rushton.
He said he wrote to “every politician in Australia” before the laws were passed, pleading for them to introduce harsher penalties.
“We don’t want the laws we had before all of this came out,” Mr Gray said. “I think the State Government has been cowardly.”
Pastor Cotton said the maximum penalty for concealing child sex offences should be in the vicinity of 10 years imprisonment or at the very least five years – the point at which offences are considered “serious” rather than “summary”.
I agree completely! 10 years maximum! Of course there are many extenuating circumstances that could reduce that sentence but the significance of the crime it has to be recognized.
After an outspoken former RCMP officer took her own life last week, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale vowed her fight to rid the force of harassment "will succeed."
But two associations representing Mounties say the government has had plenty of time to do something about the problem already.
Friends and colleagues confirmed that former constable Krista Carle took her own life on Friday. She was 53. The B.C. resident was active in the fight to draw attention to sexual harassment within the RCMP.
"We were saddened to learn of the passing of retired RCMP member Krista Carle," said RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Marie Damian. "She will be remembered for her courage in speaking out against sexual harassment and as a force for change that helped improve our workplace. The RCMP extends its deepest sympathies to her family, friends and colleagues."
Carle also was open about her struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and her decision to leave the RCMP after 19 years' service with a medical discharge.
"I was saddened to learn of the passing of retired RCMP member Krista Carle. In addition to speaking out against insidious harassment she experienced during her time with the RCMP, she was also a source of strength and support for countess other victims," Goodale tweeted on Tuesday.
"Her courage and compassion will not be forgotten; her efforts to spur reform will succeed."
Brian Sauvé of the National Police Association — one of the groups vying to form an RCMP union — said Carle's death is the fourth RCMP suicide he's heard about in the last five to six weeks.
"Krista's death is a tragedy," he said. "What she did [coming forward] was monumental. It was a tipping point."
He said the RCMP should be a leader in helping its members deal with PTSD and other mental health challenges on the job, but the police service doesn't seem to have the resources to cope with the problem.
Rob Creasser of the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada said the government has had years now to change the RCMP's culture. "[Goodale has] had ample opportunities to act before her death and did nothing other than issue meaningless platitudes with no action behind his words," said the former Mountie.
"Mr. Goodale seems quite prepared to study issues for years. There will be more RCMP deaths if he continues on that course."
Janet Merlo, who was the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit on gender-based harassment and sexual abuse within the RCMP, said the news of Carle's death was so shocking she reached out to Goodale directly.
She also said RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki's recent assertion that the RCMP is not broken struck a nerve among those with close ties to the red serge.
"It was like a kick to the belly," Merlo said.
"People are still suffering as there is no union, no collective agreement, there is no process within the RCMP to make things better right now."
But now thanks to the actions of one worried North East mum, who contacted police when she found messages from Coulter on her daughter’s phone, the fiend is beginning a long jail sentence.
And today detectives have lifted the lid on how the pervert pensioner was snared as they reveal that work is still going on to trace Coulter’s potential victims, around the globe.
Det Sgt Dave Henderson said: “He was no risk to his neighbours, but he preyed on the vulnerable. He didn’t expect us to knock on his door. The judge decided he was a dangerous offender but he hadn’t even left his house. That’s a big statement.”
And Det Sgt Allen Hull added: “He’s been sentenced but we are not finished with the victim identification side of it yet. There are no borders to what online paedophiles are doing so there are no borders to what we do. This case won’t be closed until we feel we have exhausted every avenue to try and identify every child that may have been at risk from him. But we won’t get them all.”
To his neighbours in Kenton, Coulter would have appeared to be a harmless, unassuming pensioner. But behind closed doors he was spending around five hours a day on the live-streaming app, LiveMe, which is popular with teenagers, where he would type out sexual demands while posing as a teenage boy called ‘Geordie Mike’ to dupe vulnerable underage girls, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
Over a period of almost 14 years he amassed a mountain of filthy child abuse images. And after police seized his computers and devices tests revealed his hard drives were bulging with over 10,000 pictures and videos.
Coulter amassed 1,500 contacts, mainly young girls, on the app, prosecutor Jolyon Perks explained.
He spent £50-a-month on ‘diamonds’, a crypto-currency used on Live.me which he gifted to get his profile to the top of streams. Once there, he made filthy demands - including one in which he told two young girls “I want more booby”, the court was told.
He was the “principal contributor of diamonds” in another stream in which dozens of perverts watched as a girl, thought to be aged around nine, was sexually assaulted.
And in another encounter, he tricked a 17-year-old girl to shower for him. Mr Perks said: “She addresses the defendant as if she believes she’s speaking to a young male.”
Coulter would then move the chats off the app, bombarding some of his contacts with smutty Instagram messages. He told one girl: “I wish you were a little bit older...I would love to snog your face off.”
And the court heard there was an element of grooming, with the sex offender sending gifts - including toys - to some girls’ homes. He also trawled grubby forums, exchanging images with other paedophiles - even buying some for $15 from a pervert he met via Skype.
When officers swooped on his Rosslyn Avenue home one morning last October, they found him watching a Live.me stream on his IPad, Judge Robert Spragg was told.
But police would never have uncovered Coulter’s vile crimes had they not been alerted to his behaviour by a mum in County Durham who contacted police when she found What’s App messages from a teenager on her teenage daughter’s phone.
Local officers traced the phone number to Newcastle and the case was handed over to Northumbria POLIT officers.
Det Sgt Henderson explained: “A referral came in from a parent who was concerned that a male had been in touch with her daughter. The conversation was low-level, but when you take it away from the computer, that’s when the risk begins. It started on Live.me then he took the conversation to What’s App. Often a paedophile will take them away from the computer on to an app like What’s App.
“The parent found a conversation with that person and thought ‘who is that?’. It was enough for them to say to us that they were concerned.”
Detectives traced Coulter and immediately began looking into his background, assessing whether he had access to any children who may be at immediate risk.
Despite discovering that he lived alone officers decided that the fact that he had been in contact with a young girl was enough to make him a potential danger and arrested him in a low key early morning swoop. When officers arrived he had LiveMe open on his Ipad and a large stash of devices in his home, which were seized.
Det Sgt Henderson said: “The nature of the job is that you never know what you are going into until you get there. We look at the risk the offender poses and their access to children. There was none apparent with him. But the fact that he had spoke to a child was enough, because you don’t know how many others there are. He was a potential contact offender.”
Det Sgt Hull said: “He had a number of tablets and a number of laptops. In the main he was using his Ipad to record a live stream. From examination of these we could see he had been involved in a large amount of live-streaming and he’s been recording indecent images of children all around the world.”
And Det Sgt Hull added: “He’s got a very trustworthy appearance, but he’s been committing offences against children for a fair period of time. You wouldn’t bat an eye-lid if this bloke lived around the corner from you. He said he would never approach a child. He sort of mitigated the harmfulness of his actions upon the kids. He didn’t express that he understood the harm he was causing.”
Coulter pleaded guilty to nine counts including, distributing indecent photographs of a child, making indecent photographs, taking indecent photographs, and four charges of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, at Newcastle Crown Court. He was last week jailed for eight years after Judge Spragg branded him: “every parents worst nightmare.”
Coulter’s eight year sentence features an additional five years on extension, he’s also subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order. Judge Spragg said: “This kind of online activity is every parents worst nightmare. You will only be released if the parole board decide it is safe to do so.”
With Coulter safely behind bars POLIT detectives are continuing their work to examine the indecent images he stores in a bid to identify potential victims so that they can be safeguarded.
None of those traced have been in the Northumbria Police area, but officers have so far identified 11 children in the UK and 36 across the world who could need to be safeguarded.
Daniel Tiplady, 20, of Kent Avenue, admitted possessing more than 150 extreme images and sharing them with people all over the world through chat groups.
Further storage devices found at his home contained more indecent images of children, along with numerous videos showing extreme violence.
Many of these images were shared by Tiplady over a mobile messaging application which had recipients all over the world sharing the content.
Tiplady pleaded guilty to six counts of making an indecent photograph of a child, three counts of possessing extreme pornographic images and one count of disclosing private sexual photographs with intent to cause distress.
At Maidstone Crown Court yesterday (July 9), he was sentenced to 20 months behind bars.
Police Constable Edward Stenzil, the investigating officer for this case, told Kent Live: "Tiplady’s electronic devices were filled with depraved videos and images of the most extreme kinds of violence, which included real life torture and sexual abuse.
"He actively distributed these images and shared them with people around the world. He has proven that he has a disturbed mind which presents a very real danger to the wider public and the sentence he has received is entirely justified."
But hardly adequate. He will be back out this time next year and doing it again. There should be a law allowing such disturbed people to be locked up in a mental health facility until they are safe to return to society.
They should be locked up with radicalized Muslims who are also mentally ill.
Beeby was found guilty on May 29 of five counts of indecent assault and six counts of indecency with a child, following a five day day trial. He was acquitted of one count of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a child.
Detective Constable Peter Burrows said: “The survivors of this horrific abuse have been incredibly brave in reporting this to us as well as having to relive it all throughout the trial. “Both women have remained dignified regardless of the fact they had to sit in court and listen to Beeby deny everything after he ruined precious years of their childhood.
“Nothing will be able to give them those years back but I hope the sentence today can give them some closure as they carry on their journey.
“As a force, Nottinghamshire Police is fully committed to investigating any report of sexual abuse and bringing offenders to justice. We’re here to support you so if you are a victim of any kind of abuse please contact us. Throughout the investigation our main focus is what happened to you, rather than when.”
The jury heard how both victims were nine-years-old when they were first abused by Beeby and how he abused the first girl for a number of years.
A decade later, he began abusing his second victim, subjecting her to a number of assaults until she was 13-years-old.
Beeby was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to prevent him from having contact with any child under 16.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has confirmed it will review the role of commanders who allegedly failed in their statutory duty to protect children between 1997 and 2013 as part of 'Operation Linden'.
Earlier this year the IOPC said its Operation Linden had grown to 98 investigations by the beginning of April 2018, compared with 62 at the same point in 2017.
Around 45 investigation reports have been completed and 33 current and former police officers remain under notice that they are being investigated.
An IOPC spokesman said: 'Our investigation will include gathering evidence about the actions carried out by the senior command team, after reports were allegedly shared with them that highlighted child sexual abuse was being carried out in Rotherham during the period covered by Operation Linden'.
The spokesman said no individual senior officer is under investigation at this stage.
IOPC Acting Deputy Director for Major Investigations Steve Noonan said: 'We have taken our time to carefully consider the complaint referral from South Yorkshire Police, and have made this announcement at the earliest opportunity.
'It's important to say that we're in the early stages of this particular strand of the investigation and the next steps will be to draft the terms of reference, which will be vital to bring focus to this complicated case.
'The force's strategy to tackle CSA during the period we are investigating has already been highlighted through Operation Linden. This is an area we feel needs to be fully investigated to give the survivors, and people living in Rotherham, confidence that we have carried out a thorough investigation.'
'As we have stated all along our intention is to produce an over-arching report for Operation Linden that pulls together all of our key findings, outcomes and learning from our investigations all in one place.
He added: 'Our ultimate aim is to ensure that all those affected can be confident that their complaints have been comprehensively investigated, and for South Yorkshire Police and indeed all forces across the country to learn from our findings.'
The IOPC investigation began after the Jay Report concluded that the rape, grooming and trafficking of more than 1,400 children in Rotherham had been effectively ignored by police and other agencies.
The Jay Report provoked a national outcry when it revealed that the large scale exploitation undertaken by gangs of largely Pakistani-heritage men had been effectively ignored by police and other agencies for more than a decade.
Earlier this year, the IOPC said that 33 current and former police officers were under notice that they are being investigated while the National Crime Agency said the number of victims appears to be even higher than the 1,400 figure estimated by Prof Jay.
They estimated 1500 or more victims.
The agency said 110 'designated suspects' had been identified and it had 144 staff working on 34 distinct investigations a figure senior officers wanted to see rise to more than 200.
Her daughter was raped by a 21-year-old neighbor.
“On June 24, we saw her with a lot of expensive chocolates with her. I initially thought that she had stolen it from somewhere, as we can’t afford such chocolates. So, we began to scold her and my wife began searching her to check if she had chocolates hidden in her dress, she discovered that her pants were soaked with blood. A little coaxing and interrogation on what happened revealed that my daughter had been lured for chocolate and raped by our neighbour’s son,” narrated the father of the victim, who makes a living as a daily wage labour. With the news spreading, the locals assembled outside girl’s home and gheraoed the house of the accused.
The father further said, “Three men entered his house and talked to the boy, who admitted to his crime. Someone from the locality even called the police, who came and made me sign in a blank paper, stating that they would need my signature to file the FIR.”
“However, then came the U-turn and everyone wanted us to settle the matter amicably, via a kangaroo court, which just kept postponing the hearing. The accused, we have come to know has been shifted elsewhere,” he added.
And when there is a national outrage about the increasing number of rape and sexual abuse cases in India, the neighbours of this family are keen on taking a middle way out and police is slow, alleges the family. Speaking to eNewsroom, the mother said, “We don’t want a mutual settlement. I want to go to the court and seek justice for my daughter. The society wants us to go for a mutual. But if we go for that, what will be the outcome. The accused family will be asked to pay compensation and the boy will be let off. My daughter will not get any justice.”
Bangla Sanskriti Manch, a non-governmental organization working for the human right issues stood with the family, to get things moving legally. “Both the society and the police were of the opinion that the matter is resolved amicably. But the parents want justice and not monetary compensation. The fact that they are economically weak, making things worse for the family,” said Samirul Islam, President of BSM.
“The boy is yet to be arrested, despite the FIR having been registered on June 25,” Samirul said and added that the medical test of the girl has been done 72 hours after the girl had been violated.
“The child had refused to get examined at the Kaliachak hospital. So, another medical checkup was scheduled at the Malda Hospital. But the survivor was not called the next day. Only after we made the girl’s parent call up the police station that she was taken for a medical test.” Another activist associated with the Manch, alleged, “When we went to the police station, seeking permission to take out a rally, we were threatened in a subtle way.”
When contacted, the Malda SP, Arnab Ghosh, however, refuted all the allegations. He said, “The investigation is on and we are doing the needful.” On being asked about the girl’s medical test report and if any the accused had been arrested, he said, “The matter is being probed, we can’t reveal much.”
In the interim, the victim had been produced before the magistrate, where she has had her statement recorded. A case under the POCSO Act has been initiated.
SBM, had also organized a protest rally in Kolkata against the rise of Gender Violence and child sex abuse, and demanding justice for the 5-year-old CSA survivor from Malda.
Good grief! Indian police! No wonder India is the least safe place in the world to be a girl.