An expose by Tehelka and NDTV on the insensitive remarks made by
policemen in and around Delhi, blaming women for 'provoking' rape, has
even the Chief Minister worried. (In Delhi, cops blame rapes on victims: Tehelka investigation with NDTV
"If you have brought this out it's very good. We are all scared, we are
all worried about this atmosphere where women do not feel safe. This has
to change. Our govt makes it mandatory that all women who work after 8
pm should be dropped home by their employer. I have not seen those tapes
myself, but I will watch it and talk to the Police Commissioner
myself," Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told NDTV.
There is already national outrage on the issue. "It is sad to hear the
character assassination of rape victims by some police officers in
Delhi. This mindset has to change!" tweeted actor Farhan Akhtar. "Delhi
has become Rape capital due to the misogynist mindset of Delhi Police.
Hope expose awakens the nation before it's late," said another tweet by
"Glad I did not get to see the Policing Rape prog on ndtv. Wud have
smashed my tv! Do these cops have daughters??!!" tweeted Nalini Rathnam.
In a two-week long investigation, 30 cops in Delhi and its suburbs were
caught on hidden camera in a sting operation that exposes the utter
insensitivity of the policemen as they are caught making remarks on a
number of cases like the recent gangrape of a teenager in Noida, and the
Gurgaon pub rape case in March where the woman was dragged out of her
cab and raped by six men.
Reacting to the expose, the Delhi Police said it does not endorse the
remarks and action will be taken if such loose comments have been made.
"Delhi Police has strong institutionalised mechanism of dealing with
women victims. We always ensure that a senior officer, especially women
officers, interact with them. For minor victims we have trained juvenile
welfare officers. We have women help desk in each police station and
whenever any victim comes they are handled with a lot of sensitivity. In
any case, as seen in the footage, anyone giving any loose remarks as
already committed by Commissioner we will take strong action against
them," said Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson, Delhi Police.
The keepers of law - caught on secret camera - believe it's a woman's
behaviour that is a prime reason and if it were not for "provocation"
from her end, rapes wouldn't happen.
"Go to a pub in Greater Kailash, South Delhi, where there's free entry
for girls. You'll find those who want to do 'it' for a thousand rupees.
They'll drink and also have sex with you. But the day someone uses it,
it's rape," said Sunil Kumar, SHO, Ghazipur, Delhi-NCR.
And there was yet another shocker - ethnic bias against those from the
Northeast. "Girls from Darjeeling and Nepal have come here for business
purposes. They go with men for money. Later, when the money is not
sufficient, it becomes a rape," said Rajpal Yadav, Additional SHO of
Sector 29, Gurgaon.
One of the cops, investigating the case of a teenaged girl from Noida
who was gangraped in a moving car in February this year, said a girl who
gets into a car with 10 boys can never be innocent and she should have
known the consequences of drinking with boys. He didn't even spare her
"The girl's mother is divorced. She's living with another man from the
Yadav community. She's 48 whereas the man is 28. Now when two young
girls watch their 48-year-old mother sleeping with a 28-year-old man,
even they'll be aroused. Sex is like hunger," said Ram Kumar Malik,
Sub-inspector, Noida Police.
The victim's mother, however, slammed the police. "They purposely
brought my case in the public eye, they took money from the boy's family
a long time back. I would like to make it very clear that I really
ridicule this. We belong to a middle class family. It took a lot of
courage for me to go and get a report written and I did so, so that I
get justice and the boy gets punished and other women don't face the
same fate. But the police, instead of helping me, got together with the
accused and took money from them and are now putting the blame on my
daughter. If we wanted money why would have we gone to the police? We
would have talked to the accused family. We are living in hiding because
we are scared. But I will keep fighting for this till my last breath,
no matter what the outcome is. I will not back out. I have my doubts on
the role that the police will play."
Given that these extremely disturbing attitudes exist in agencies that
are meant for the protection of harassed women, it comes as little
surprise that rapes continue unabated. While the men in uniform have a
spectrum of reasons to rationalise rise in rape occurrence, there is
little acknowledgment of the fact that perhaps better policing and
instilling a fear of the law among the perpetrators could make women
feel that much safer.