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Shockingly indescribable

23 Oct. 2014 12:50 AM IST

Bangalore has been in the news for the wrong reasons and all of which indicate that there is a serious problem with safety and security of children. In the latest shameful and indescribable incident, a four-year-old child studying in nursery at Orchard International School was allegedly sexually assaulted by unidentified persons on Tuesday. The shocking crime came to light after school closed at 12 noon when the child told her parents that a man had beaten her. Later on medical examination at a hospital, doctors confirmed the worst, that the child had been assaulted. The police have registered a case on the basis of a complaint filed by the parents of the child and are investigating the identity of the accused. on and doctors reported that the child had been assaulted. This is the third incident of sexual assault on a child at schools in Bangalore in recent months. In July the police arrested two gym instructors at Vibgyor International School for sexually assaulting a five-year-old child and in August a 63-year-old teacher at a school in south Bangalore was arrested for attacking a nine-year-old child. It has been reported, that in Karnataka, statistics provided by the government reveal that sexual assault on minors has gone up three-fold in the last three years. In 2011, 97 children were raped in Karnataka, which rose to 142 in 2012 , followed by 270 in 2013. However, it is more alarming that the number of people convicted in these cases is dwindling. In these three years from 2011 to 2013, only 49 people were convicted in Karnataka. In 2013, 14 people- the lowest, were convicted as against 19 in 2012 and 16 in 2011.Across India, there were 12,363 cases of child rape last year as against 8,541 in 2012. In contrast to the trend in Karnataka, the countrywide figures showed an increase in the number of people convicted from 1,447 in 2012 to 2,062 in 2013. Kerala has registered 145 cases of child rape, the highest number, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra (95) and Tamil Nadu (30). Delhi has reported 16 such cases. Many states, including Karnataka have not provided the 2014 data to NCRB and the number of rapes involving children will rise once the full picture evolves. Such cases involving assaults on minors indicate that there are factors that, in some way, contribute to committing offences. Among the factors was the traditional practice of child marriage in India. UNICEF recognises child marriage as one of the main forms of child sexual abuse and see it as representing, perhaps, the most prevalent form of sexual abuse and exploitation of girls. The response of society and especially the law on crimes against minors need to be effective. Society needs to look at itself and analyse the environment that breeds demented minds to commit the crimes. The law on the other hand, must respond to such crimes in a more serious manner in effecting immediate arrest and also awarding the most stringent of punishments to offenders either through death penalty or life imprisonment. When so much is being said about protection of juvenile offenders, there should be no doubt that so much concern is more than due for minor and juvenile victims.

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