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24 lawmakers visit Haryana to probe spate of rape cases

Rohtak, Oct. 17 (ANI): A delegation of 24 lawmakers is visiting Haryana to review the situation arising out of the spate of rape cases, including that of a girl who killed herself after she was forced to have sex with three men.

The state authorities have struggled to combat rising crimes against women, including domestic violence, molestation, trafficking and rape.

Just a few women in India ever report rape cases due to the lack of support, but more so the shame they face by going public.

Seventeen rapes have been reported in more than a month in Haryana – a rich, agricultural region bordering New Delhi-where deep-rooted conservative and patriarchal attitudes have often been blamed for gender crimes.

The delegation included lawmakers from various parties, who were visiting Jind district to find out the reason of surge in rape cases and the measures that are being taken to curb them.

Lawmaker and leader of Communist Party of India, D Raja told reporters on Wednesday that they are visiting the state to find out the reason as to why such cases are on the rise.

“We have come to find out why such things are happening in Haryana, unchecked. It is not the first time. Such incidents keep on happening in Haryana, whether it is the failure of the government, whether it is the failure of the police forces, what is the exact reason, why the culprits are not nabbed promptly and punished with stringent measures?” said Raja in Rohtak.

India has robust gender laws, but they are hardly enforced, partly because a feudal mindset is as prevalent among bureaucrats, magistrates and the police as it is elsewhere.

Politicians are also unwilling to crack down on customary biases against women for fear of losing conservative votes.

In India, public knowledge of the rape of a woman is seen as a blot on the victim, which not only scars her emotionally and physically, but also most likely determines the course of her life (and often that of her families and her siblings).

This is a deeply conservative and patriarchal region where age-old customs such as payment of hefty dowries at the time of marriage and beliefs linking a female’s sexual behaviour to family honour have made girls seem a burden.

In 2011, 24,206 rape cases were reported, according to India’s National Crime Records Bureau – a figure which gender rights activists say is a gross under estimation. (ANI)