Speed Up Rape Case Trials
The increasing number of incidents of rape in Rajasthan, particularly in Alwar is a cause for great concern. Close on the heels of gang rape of a woman by hoodlums, a minor girl was reportedly raped by youth when the former had come to attend a marriage. The youth too were in the town for the marriage. The Dalit woman was reportedly denied swift justice by the policemen. No report was taken on the day of the assault, and the victim was asked to come after two days “due to elections”. Though five were apprehended, one wants to know whether the wheels of justice will move fast. The rape caused an intense outrage in Rajasthan because the act was filmed by the accused. Now, six accused have been apprehended but the victim wants nothing less than death sentence to the accused. The Superintendent of Police and the SHO were transferred, but the move is cosmetic to say the least. The accused belong to the powerful Gujjar community, which perhaps forced the law enforcers to go slow on the case. It is also speculated that the arrest was delayed with an eye on vote bank because of the caste of the offenders. Shamefully, another gang rape took place a day after the incident in the same police station limits. Apart from sick and perverted minds, the tendency to dominate over women and caste hierarchy appears to have pervaded many men in the region. Tendency to take the police for granted, overt blessings from the politicians, loose judicial system, poor conviction, limited security cover for women – all seem to have emboldened the offenders. The lackadaisical attitude of the governments, no matter the party, has always acted as an aphrodisiac for the distorted minds. Increasing police stations, posting sensitive officers in sensitive areas, making higher police officials accountable for the lapses of their juniors, bringing in laws to hasten rape case trials, gender sensitisation training to police officers can bring some respite to India’s women.
GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA
Increasing Number Of NOTA Votes
The election results for the two Lok Sabha seats and the bypolls in Goa may have thrown a few surprises but what has been disturbing is the number of voters, who have pressed the NOTA (none of the above) button on the EVMs. There were 7,063 and 5,436 NOTA votes for the North Goa and South Goa Lok Sabha polls, respectively. There were a sizeable number of NOTA votes in the bypolls as well. In fact, in Mapusa and Shiroda, the NOTA votes exceeded even the AAP and GSM votes besides the votes polled by a few independent candidates. The number of votes NOTA got may have had a telling effect on the results in the Shiroda bypolls where the winning margin was just 76 and the number of votes polled by NOTA was 304. There may be various reasons for voters opting for NOTA. Whatever may be the reason, it must be said that the number of votes polled by NOTA could make a difference between winning and losing when the margin of victory is very low.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO
Take Steps To Harvest Rainwater
One must compliment new Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for trying to find a solution to the mining issue by attempting to get the 18 leases not covered by the Supreme Court’s closure order to start work. Why this was not thought of earlier even by former chief minister late Manohar Parrikar is, however, a mystery. We are constantly seeing such moves by our politicians and governments. We are now suffering from water shortage everywhere, more so in the areas served by the Opa plant and though we know that it is summer, where is the 24×7 supply of water promised by the earlier PWD minister? We all know that a majority of the 100 inches of average rainfall that we receive every year flows into the Arabian Sea. Why is this not being stored along the length of our major rivers like the Mandovi and the Zuari in man-made lakes or reservoirs? To supplement Opa, now we are drawing water from the mining pits but if we had lakes built then it would have proved to be a big step in water conservation. Such lakes, depending on the topography, can be integrated with mini-hydel projects and mini-turbines to supply electric power to villages adjoining these man-made lakes. They can be even used for fish farming. Similarly, there were reports in the media that the electricity department will be spending Rs 1,000 crore to upgrade the power supply system in the state. Here again, power minister had said earlier that in three years’ time there would be no power cuts and Goa would get 24×7 uninterruptible power supply. But day in and day out we experience frequent power cuts. It is all right to tell us that in the future we will get both power and water on a 24×7 basis but should we not see some progress towards that goal by mitigating the problems we suffer now. These baby steps towards the exemplary goals will make us believe that the future is indeed rosy as painted by our ministers.
S KAMAT, ALTO ST CRUZ