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South Goa witnesses increase in rape cases

By Shyam Zambauliker | NT
MARGAO:  The marginal increase in rape cases in South Goa has been attributed to rapid development in rural areas and migration of labourers. It is pertinent to note that in the jurisdiction of South Goa from January 2014 till date, 32 cases of rape were reported out of which 30 cases have been detected.
Police said that in most cases the victims are students and minor of age. Going by FIRs, most rape cases involved were 14-year-old girls who were given intoxicant-laced cold drinks, abducted and assaulted.
Police said that in most cases, the perpetrator was known to the victim, and so were lured with offers of marriage.
Police also said that in some cases, complaints were lodged only when the victim got pregnant. Figures indicate that rape cases which showed a decline in 2011, suddenly shot up in 2012 – 2014. However, the detection rate have shown signs of improvement.
South Goa has 14 police stations out of which 32 rape cases were reported from January 2014 to September. Salcete registered 17 cases, Quepem 7 cases and Mormugao have reported 8 cases. As compared to 2013, South Goa has witnessed 38 cases of rape. 24 in Salcete, 7 cases in Quepem and 7 in Mormugao. Police said that in 2013 the number of rapes committed in South Goa were 38 while 36 cases were detected by the police.
In 2012, 29 rape cases were registered in South Goa, while 26 cases were detected.
The president of the South Goa Advocates Association Rajiv Gomes said that an accused in a rape case is charged under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.
Gomes said that the accused may be punished with imprisonment for a term not less than seven years, but which may be for life or for a term which may extend to ten years. The accused shall also be liable to fine unless the woman raped is his own wife and is not under twelve years of age, in which case, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
He said that in rape cases preserving DNA report is a vital part of the investigation. He said that the DNA evidence is used by the investigating officer to prove that a sexual abuse took place.
He said that the police collect the DNA evidence at the crime scene headed by a trained investigator.
Gomes felt that the department has to ensure that the law enforcement and investigators receive special training on the handling of DNA
evidence.

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