Six people were arrested in India after a Swiss woman was allegedly gang-raped by a group of men in the northern state of Madhya Pradesh. She was camping with her husband in a remote village in Datia district.
The couple was on a cycling tour and was all set to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. A group of up to eight men entered their camp and beat and tied up the husband. The woman was then raped in front of her husband and the attackers even took away their cash and belongings. After the incident, the woman was rushed to a hospital in Gwalior.
This attack comes almost three months after a physiotherapy student was gang raped and fatally injured in a moving bus in Delhi. There were a series of protests following the brutal incident demanding stricter laws for to deal with sexual violence. But it seems as if they have had absolutely no effect on the rapist mindset as well as the police’s conduct towards rape victims.
A spokesman for Madhya Pradesh police sparked anger when he said that the woman and her husband were partly to be blamed because they entered a remote village they knew very little about. The Chambal valley region, the place where the gang-rape took place, is notorious for being a lawless area where many bandits and dacoits take refuge.
Instead of condemning and being ashamed of the fact that the police department of Madhya Pradesh has been unsuccessful in eliminating crime from the region and arresting criminals, Inspector Avnesh Kumar Budholiya said, “They were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Following the Delhi gang-rape, many statements emerged in the media in which the woman who was raped was blamed for the crime. All of them were obnoxious and didn’t make any sense whatsoever, at least to the sane mind.
Victim blaming is almost a ritual that follows the heinous crime. But these ignorant blamers forget ithat a woman, even if she is a prostitute, never deserves to be raped. The agony of a sexual violence victim is beyond the understanding of a person who has not gone through that traumatic experience. To say that a woman’s clothes, attitude etc must be equally blamed for rape only adds to the anguish and suffering of the victim. Especially when people who are supposed to protect, such as the police, start blaming the oppressed, it is something that must be thoroughly condemned.
Earlier, in 2003 a Swiss diplomat was abducted and raped in New Delhi by two men. No one was convicted for that attack. Maybe the Indian police should start working on its poor way of dealing with crime and arresting rapists rather than blaming the victim and making things worse than they already are.