Women in India protest rape
Women in India protest rape. Reuters

The public rage over the Delhi gang-rape and the demand for death penalty for rapists seem not to have deterred the rapists in the country. The Indian media has reported a number of rape incidents ever since the gang-rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus in Delhi shocked the nation and the world over a week ago.

The Delhi gang-rape has led to a never-seen-before wave of protests in the country, forcing the government to take measures to improve the safety and security of women.

The increasing number of rape incidents being reported by the media is seen as an indication that the crime against women continues despite the protests over the Delhi gang-rape and the government’s recent assurance about women’s safety.

It is not clear if the increase in the number of incidents being reported is due to a real surge in the number of such incidents or if it is because there is a rise in the number of rape victims who file cases. Whatever, it reiterates one reality – women are vulnerable in many parts of the country.

A two-and-a-half-year-old girl was allegedly raped and dumped in a thorny bush by her maternal uncle, Keshav, at Vadodara in Gujarat Friday night, PTI reported. The toddler, who suffered serious injuries, died Tuesday. A case of rape, kidnap and murder has been registered against the accused.

In another case, a 10-member gang allegedly raped a 20-year-old woman on the banks of a river in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, police said Monday, PTI reported. The woman was speaking to a relative when the accused attacked them. The gang members thrashed the relative who tried protect her. Police made 10 arrests in connection with the incident.

The mother of a two-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped in a government hospital in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, by three sweepers Saturday. According to the police, the sweepers followed the woman to the toilet where she was raped.

The woman was in the hospital to take care of her two-year- old daughter who was in a critical condition after sustaining burn injuries. The girl succumbed to her injuries Tuesday. Police arrested the three accused in the case.

A 28-year-old man was caught red-handed when he was trying to rape a 40- year-old disabled woman in a stationary bus at a bus depot in Kolkata, West Bengal, Monday, IBNLive reported. People came to the women’s rescue after hearing her cries and handed over the accused to the police. However, the accused fled mysteriously from the police custody.

In another shocking incident that depicts the insensitivity of the police when it comes to the crimes against women, the police personnel in Chincholi, Karnataka, refused to file a complaint from the parents of 11-year-old girl who was raped Dec.20. The incident came to light five days later when the relatives of the victim and the child helpline authorities intervened.

The police had not recorded the victim’s statement nor sent her for medical checkup, the Hindu newspaper reported. The police personnel, who failed to register the case, have been suspended.

In another case that reflects the law enforcement officers’ bias towards women, a senior police official advised the media not to highlight a rape victim’s complaint against the accused. In Ghaziabad, near Delhi, a girl who was raped four years ago by a man identified as Rishi filed a complaint alleging that the accused had attempted to kill her when he came out of jail a year ago.

However, the police have not taken any action on the case. When queried about it, Ghaziabad Senior Superintendent of Police Prashant Kumar reportedly said: "Leave it friends! The Delhi gang-rape case is already in the news. This girl had got married and the accused was then sent to jail. By the time he came out of the jail she had remarried," IBNLive reported.

The list goes on…

Now, the crucial question is -- how long will the current outcry against rape and the rapists last in the country? The issue will die down in a few weeks, to be replaced by other “hot” issues. The protests will go; the demand for strict punishment will go. But rape and the agony of the rape victims will go on…