New Delhi: Barely two and a half months after the horrific December 16 gangrape, there was outrage and protests on the streets of Delhi again after a 7-year-old girl was allegedly raped inside an MCD school in Mangolpuri on Thursday. Angry protesters, including neighbours and local residents clashed outside the hospital with the police, accusing them of taking no action for three hours post the incident.
On Saturday, Rapid Action Force (RAF) was deployed on the streets near the Mangolpuri police station and the hospital where the girl is currently undergoing treatment.
The family of the rape survivor has claimed that the child was threatened with dire consequences if she told anyone about the incident. "The girl told us that she was gagged, tied and told that she would be killed if she told anyone," said survivor's family member.
Police said on Saturday they have collected vital clues related to the case and are close to making an arrest. They also ruled out any outside involvement in the crime.
The girl was admitted to the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital after angry crowds gathered outside the police station. Four school staff, including two male teachers and a guard have been interrogated.
Huge crowds gathered outside the hospital and pelted stones and vandalised buses. The police had to resort to lathicharge to clear the crowd that blamed the police for delayed action.
"The mob went violent when they learnt about the incident," said a witness. A day after a Rs 1000 crore "Nirbhaya Fund" for women's security was announced in Parliament by Finance Minister P Chidambaram as part of Budget 2013-14, the incident once again highlighted the lax safety mechanism for women.
"We have tried to bring changes in our laws, fast track courts and the law and order situation. However, we have not seen the changes take place as fast as we would have liked," said Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
Meanwhile, Gopal Subramanium, former Solicitor-General of India, who was a member of the Justice Verma committee, blamed the Centre's lack of seriousness in dealing with crime against women. "I am afraid I am deeply disappointed. I want to make it very clear that the kind of work, which was put in by the Verma Committee, it is not a question of recognition or accolades of praise, but I think there must be some seriousness to initiatives which are taken. And what is it that we are asking? We are asking you to please look at the recommendations, and all this was predicted in the context of schools. We have made that as one of our primary points in the report," Subramanium said.
Justice Verma Committee was set up post December 16, 2012 on which a 23-year-old paramedic student was brutally assaulted and gangraped by a group of half-a-dozen men on board a moving bus. The incident had led to massive protests across the country, with angry demonstrators demanding more efficient laws against rapists.
"The police, the principals and the politicians, have they held joint meetings in the area to awaken the parents of the responsibility and the principles of responsibility as crime prevention plan?" questioned former IPS officer and India Against Corruption member Kiran Bedi.