Jammu, December 19, (Scoop News)- Reacting to media reports that the Jammu and Kashmir government is contemplating a policy for rehabilitation of rape victims, BJP National Executive Member & J&K Chief Spokesperson Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that this is like putting the cart before the horse.
Denouncing the State government’s anti-rape policy as flawed and ineffective, Dr Jitendra Singh said,while rehabilitation of a rape victim
is a noble idea which everybody would welcome, the J&K government,at the first place, owes an explanation for low conviction rate of only 3.26 % in rape and molestation cases in the State since 1989 which means that the successive regimes have failed to place enough emphasis on the aspect of deterrent punishment for preventing regular recurrence of such cases.
Citing official figures, Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that from 169 rape cases reported in the State in 2001,the figure had shot up to over 300 in 2012 even as the data for 2013 is yet to be concluded and added that the number of unreported or unregistered cases may be much higher.What is even more a matter of concern,he said,is that hitherto rape-free districts of the State like Kargil had also, of late, started reporting such cases.
Even in the matter of rehabilitation of rape victims,the State of J&K lags behind ,said Dr Jitendra Singh,adding that the present initiative by the State Social Welfare Department has also been belatedly prompted only by a notice from the Supreme Court of India. Pertinent to mention that the Supreme Court had recently issued notices to the Chief Secretaries of all the States and the Administrators of the Union Territories, seeking their response in eight weeks on rehabilitation schemes for the rape victims.
Dr Jitendra Singh went on to recall that the union government had initiated a scheme three years ago under which every rape victim is legally entitled to a minimum compensation of at least Rs 1.5 lac, but no relief has so far been disbursed in the absence of Planning Commission clearance,he informed.
While any amount of money is insufficient to restore the dignity and confidence of a rape victim, Dr Jitendra Singh said the State could atleast ensure deterrent punishment for the culprit coupled with active help from social and cultural organizations to change the milieu that encourages rape.