After the 2012 Nirbhaya case, many of us thought that our country will learn a lesson and would make efforts to make itself safer for women. But, it is heartbreaking how our country is even struggling to keep her kids safe.
In order to control the devastating situation, the authorities are making stringent laws and leaving no scope of any leniency in cases of sexual assault, especially against kids.
Recently, a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act court convicted and sentenced two 20-year-old college students to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment for being involved in the sexual assault of a four-year-child. The crime was committed in 2018 when she was three. Because she is only a four-year-old child, she cannot be tutored to depose.
So What Happened?
On the night of November 20, 2018, one accused, her neighbor, sexually assaulted the 3-year-old baby in the common passage of their building. While the other accused, his friend, abetted the offense by keeping watch, he also touched her inappropriately. The third accused is a juvenile and is being treated separately. It was the child’s uncle, who had found the girl in the common passage with the accused and the juvenile.
When a local doctor examined the child and confirmed her version, the family went to the police. The accused were subsequently arrested.
Looking at the severity of the crime, the court refused to grant leniency to the accused on grounds of their youth. The court said:
“Logical explanation or reasoning would always be available in favour of any age and then it would be almost impossible to imprison any accused. The child of three years who used to call the accused ‘dada’ (elder brother) took disadvantage of the trust and committed rape,”
The court said the quantum of the sentence should not only deter the accused from committing such offenses in the future but also the public at large. The court observed child sex abuse is considered the most heinous crime as it exposes the minor to such grave trauma that it can take a lifetime to feel normal.
“Punishing the accused is little solace to the sufferings caused to her without any fault on her part,” the court said.
It is heartbreaking how educated college going students can sexually assault a 3-year-old baby. This incident is another ugly reminder of how our society’s DNA is degrading.