December 20th, 2016
Rape Videos Sold
Even as we speak of women empowerment, safety, and freedom, violence against women has risen at an alarming rate. One of the worst possible crimes that can be committed against a person is rape. With cameras available on every phone, perpetrators have now taken to filming their heinous crimes and sharing it using messenger services. Along with the physical and emotional trauma of the incident, the victims are also having to go through the trauma of photos and videos being shared on social media. The worst part of the story is that despite complaints against this, the police have taken no action and have not made any arrests.
In Uttar Pradesh, people are deriving sadistic pleasure from rape videos. They circulate the clips on WhatsApp messenger service. The faces of the women being abused are clearly seen, and the audio is also heard clearly. Aljazeera released an investigative report on rape videos being sold in the state. Times of India also covered it in the month of August.
The Supreme Court observed the case after a letter to the Chief Justice of India by an anti-trafficking NGO Prajwala, sought an action to end the sale of rape videos. The court has been persuading the Government to take measures to introduce laws to curb the circulation of such videos.
A prominent women’s rights lawyer Vrinda Grover stated that there are no laws exclusively governing the flow of rape videos. But even the existing legislation under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and cyber laws are efficient enough to ensure that no pornographic material is shared without the consent of the woman in the video. She further highlighted the loopholes and said that it is important we implement existing laws correctly. There is, therefore, no need for new legislation.
Even when the authorities have assured that they are taking every possible step to cease the circulation of the videos, the trade persists.
The Deputy Inspector General of Saharanpur, Jitendra Kumar Shahi asked for the samples of videos without even acknowledging the fact that it is illegal to circulate them. He also stressed that after Aljazeera had published the story, they swung into action and directed all the station head officers to look for shops or kiosks or any person involved in such trade and confiscate any material that depicts sexual crime against women.
There have been no details of the raids on these kiosks. Also, there haven’t been any arrests so far even though the faces of the perpetrators are clearly visible.
The Inspector General of Police in Meerut, Ajay Anand gave a similar response. He also claimed that he had deployed police to raid such stalls and arrest anyone dealing in such trade. He further elaborated that raids were futile as they couldn’t find any videos.
Aljazeera correspondents contacted the police station officer to confirm that the seniors and middle-level police officials are coordinating well to confiscate all the videos. But the station officer Prashant Kapil said that they had not received any instructions from their superiors to look out for such shops.
“The Police might investigate the sale of these videos if the women in them file complaints. But most of them are too scared to make any complaints and the police use this lack of complaints as an excuse for any inaction,” says Lalith Kumaramnagalam, India’s National Commission for Women.
Prominent women’s right activist Jagmati Sangwan who also serves as the general secretary of All India Democratic Women’s Association said that situation depicts the insensitivity of the police when it comes to crime against women. She further demanded that senior police officers be held accountable for such circulations.
The Logical Indian requests Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav to take immediate action against these people and seize all the videos. We also urge our community members to share the news and create pressure on the UP Police. You can call CM of Uttar Pradesh at these nos. 0522- 2236181, 2239296, 2215501
You can read the earlier report of The Logical Indian here: Gang-Rape Videos Are Being Sold In Uttar Pradesh At Rs 50-150