Children vulnerable as rapes and murders soar

December 22, 2016 08:28 AM Jitendra Kumar Jha

RAJBIRAJ, Dec 22: Eight-year-old Durgananda Sah’s dead body was recovered by police from his neighbor’s septic tank last week in Hariharpur - 3. He was kidnapped on November 26 and the body was recovered after 20 days.

According to SP Diwesh Lohani, he was kidnapped and killed by his neighbor Chudamani Thakur, 27. Lohani claims that the child was kidnapped for ransom but since the boy would recognize them, if freed, he was murdered.

In July, a toddler Pramila Kumari Mandal of the same village was killed. According to police, her mother Rani Devi and her lover Shivashankar Mandal had murdered the toddler. Police investigation claims that the motive behind the murder was to ease the way for the lovers to unite. “Since the toddler was posing threat to their love, they murdered her,” the report claims. It took two months for the investigation to pieces together and put the accused behind the bars in Rajbiraj. 

The same month, 14-year-old Chandan Kumari Sada was murdered. According to her father Nasib, local of Tarahi VDC of Saptari, she was first gang raped and then murdered by the rapists. Nasib has accused Chandrandev Sada, Chandan Sada and Om Prakash Sada, resident of the same locality. Of these one is in police custody while the other two accused are on the run. 

Yet in another case, a 65-year-old man raped 11 year old girl in Mayanakaderi VDC. According to DSP Dan Bahadur Karki, the girl was raped by the man while she was out in the field grazing her cattle. 

These are representative cases that expose the fragile security situation in Saptari where children are becoming easy target of criminals. Most of the cases show that their own family members, relatives and neighbors exploit children by taking advantage of their vulnerability. According to District Police Office, in the last eight months, 17 girls have been raped in the district. Two girls and two boys have been killed. Along with that nine cases of attempted rape were filed during the same period. 

Police investigations into these cases suggest that rapes are mostly done by people whom the victims know. Involvement of strangers was found rarely in such cases. Most of the times, rapists were relatives of the victims. Neighbors and distant relatives are equal threat to minor girls. Even in cases of boys, molestations are common, say police officers involved in investigation of such cases.   
“The society is disturbed. There is no morality left among people,” Meena Thakur, a retired school principal said. “Innocent children are becoming victim of rape. They are brutally murdered. This is a very worrisome situation,” she asserted.

Alcohol and porn contributing 

Police investigation shows that the major factor behind rising cases of sexual abuse against girls and women is alcohol and porn movies. Uncontrolled abuse of alcohol and similarly easy access to porn videos due to internet service is misguiding people, police and social activist say.

According to a social activist in Saptari, Shambhunanda Chaudhari, immature use of Facebook and other online services on mobile has badly affected the society. “Facebook is not used but misused.

This has affected the delicate impressionable minds of the youths. Along with that such access has given impetus for undisciplined adults to commit crimes,” he said. 

“Coupled with the lack of awareness among parents for the need to protect children from domestic violence and lack of police force in villages, makes minors more vulnerable to fall prey to perpetrators easily,” Chaudhari asserted. 

According to Chaudhari, most of the cases which he has watched closely are related to the use of alcohol and porn movies. “After they are drunk, they fail to control their desires. This incites them to commit crime,” he said calling on the government to control selling of alcohol in the market.

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