Thursday, September 29, 2022

Reflection of the underbelly

It was a befitting punishment when the Court of Special Judge, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, sentenced a 76-year old retired Armed Branch Sub Inspector (ABSI) to 20 years rigorous imprisonment for committing rape on a 5-year old minor girl. The Court Special Judge POCSO Act , Mezivolu T.Therieh in her judgement on September 6, pointed out that the convicted paedophile identified as retired ABSI Kuripra Veswuh, whom the innocent minor used to call as ‘Apotsa’(grandfather) and who was expected to show grandfatherly love and care and moral guardian, instead turned predator. The Judge , in her judgement said such an abominable act prevented her from showing any leniency in punishment for the rapist. The rapist who is a retired police officer has also proved that instead of having the heart of law enforcer and protector, he turned a law breaker and offender. It would be in the interest of justice if, there is probe on the background of the cop-turned predator-cum-paedophile on whether there was any such similar past incident. Contemporary Naga society needs to wake up to the dangers and all who share the concern should mainstream their views to decide what needs to be done to check rapes, especially on minor children. It is a matter of concern that a society considered to be safe for women, today is confronted with such a problem which exist only in a criminalized environment. What has happened to such a society which is today witnessing rise in such abominable crimes against women and especially little girls? Just a few years back a man murdered his wife after months of torture and starvation just for the love of a female domestic servant. Why is it that so many of such horrendous crimes are being committed not infrequently? Shockingly, such crimes committed on minor girls are not few and far between, according to some reports. Such reports certainly expose the dark under belly of society. This also throws open the urgent need to take deterrent measures against offenders and predators. There are those who deem that paedophiles (those suffering from psychiatric disorders) who sexually victimize minors, should be straightaway given capital punishment. In June this year a court in Tamil Nadu sentenced a 43-year-old man for repeatedly raping a minor girl, to life imprisonment while his wife who acted as an abettor to the crime, was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. If crimes against minors are happening more often throughout India, then it is time for drastic action where society needs to respond in a continuous manner to the extent that even the law of the land would be spurred to take a very serious view against offenders. It is tragic and shameful that rapes are no longer that rare in Naga society. Sex offenders don’t belong to society but to a group of deviants and psychologically sick who should undergo treatment for a long time. Even as the focus is on the perpetrators of the crime, society also needs to confront the issue of how to counsel victims and restore them back to normalcy. It is a painful and difficult process but necessary and society owes it to them.