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Rape statistics biggest scar on State’s face

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: The gang-rape of an 18-year old girl in Williamnagar by 16 boys between the age group of 13-20 more or less summed up the plight of women and minors in a year that witnessed many such crimes across the State.

Looking back, 2012 can be termed as a year when Meghalaya caught pace with a ‘rape obsessed India’ and spurt in sexual assault cases, especially ones inflicted by close relatives on minors and women, grew in numbers.

The same also led to the call for setting up of fast track courts for quick conviction in such cases.

The Williamnagar gang-rape case on December 13, where a girl was gang-raped and assaulted near Sacred Heart School when she was returning home from the Simsang festival, made the police ask for the transfer of the case to a fast track court. But the same did not materialize due to the absence of a fast track court in East Garo Hills.

Earlier in January, a 15-year old girl was gang-raped in Laitkynsew by three men identified as Well Sohkhlet, Lodo Marak, and Richard Dkhar. The victim was raped at Splashing Park, Sohra (Cherrapunjee). What was more shocking was that the girl was raped again the next day by one Bir Dkhar in a forest near her village.

According to the statistics provided by the police, two gang-rape cases were registered till June.

The shocking revelation by young hostellers of New Life Home in September brought to fore the increasing sexual abuse against minors in the State.

Reverend Sangkunga Miller, owner of New life Home, was arrested on charges of exploiting and sexually abusing children in his hostel. However, Miller was granted bail later on by the Shillong bench of the Gauhati High Court even as the case still remains pending in the court of law.

Other cases of sexual abuse against minors which were registered this year included a rape of a seven-year old girl at her residence at Chitoktak Tura (WGH) by Edmand Ch. Momin on December 26, rape of four minor girls of the same family by a 12-year old boy in December and rape of a mentally-challenged girl in Nongstoin in August.

Rape incidents against own relatives also made a mark this year as was noticed in many cases where women and children were raped by none other than their own fathers, uncles and other relatives.

A 16-year old girl was raped by her father, a cop in Shillong, in November. Similarly, a 12-year-old girl was raped by her father at Mawkneng near Sohiong in May while another minor was raped by her own uncle at Mawlaingut, East Khasi Hills district in June.

The recovery of a woman’s body from the Shillong Club premises in June 2012 also made news. The woman, around 35 was suspected to have been raped, murdered and dumped under the Rotary Club office floor located within the Club campus

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