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Oct 09, 2012 at 09:16am IST

Haryana rapes: Sonia Gandhi to visit victims, families

Hisar: Congress President Sonia Gandhi will on Tuesday visit the rape vicitims and their families in Jind, Haryana. Her visit comes three days after a Dalit teen girl set herself on fire after being gangraped by four men. The Congress government in Haryana had been criticised for doing too little too late. Although the Hooda government has set up a three-member panel to look into the rising number of rapes in the state, much still needs to be done.

Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Police, Hisar, has said that rapes will be dealt by fast track courts and strictest punishment awarded to the accused. Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief on India @ 9, the police officer said, "Rape is a very serious crime. One gangrape took place in Hisar and we arrested all the accused and we have planned to put this case in the fast track court and we will ensure that the culprits are punished."

Over the past one month, almost 11 rapes have been reported in Haryana. The actual number would be much higher. Such is the stigma associated with rapes in India, that more often than not, victims hesitate to file an FIR. Many a times, the police turn away victims who come forward to file a case.

And the apathy and short-sightedness of the society, especially on part of those who are supposed to be delivering justice, is reflected in the statement by a local khap panchayat member of Haryana, Sube Singh, who said that marrying the girls off early would prevent rapes. How? His explanation: Marrying the girls off at the age of 16 will be good for them as they will have their husbands to take care of their sexual needs and hence they will not venture out of their homes. This remark is as callous as it is devoid of all sense. It indirectly puts the blame on the victims.

The victims will always remain victims, and their numbers will continue to rise, if the society and the government does not take effective steps to tackle the crime and the criminals soon.

Watch: Haryana khap panchayat member's take on rape