Is neglecting crime against women a right approach during the crisis of COVID-19?

Those committing the recent crime could be a habitual offender which only targets those who could not reveal the ordeal. As a result such criminal goes unrecognized, unprosecuted and unpunished but still questionable when could the law enforcing department book and arrested the culprit.

We heard many heinous incidents of crime against women and children, in which the incident which occurred on the June 13, 2020 at Wahengbam Leikai wherein one unmarried mental disability women delivered a child is yet another sad reality among those which have been reported since the last two decades. The area which saddens the most is that the live of the born infant was not able to be saved which could be our future gem.

We have been experiencing various critical forms of gender based violence but this recent incident is the most despairing incident as on how she would be able to identify  the culprit which is the saddest reality. Those committing the recent crime could be a habitual offender which only targets those who could not reveal the ordeal. As a result such criminal goes unrecognized, unprosecuted and unpunished but still questionable when could the law enforcing department book and arrested the culprit.

Being a women living with mental disability and recently made into a victim of sexual assault by some criminal minded people to fulfil their sexual desire is critical issue and need of serious attention and urgent action is in need from the side of the law enforcing agency in cooperation with the people. We are kept in a dilemma whether the state doesn’t have the proper shelter home for those living with mental disabilities or is it the family members to be blamed for not surrendering to undergo treatment at the shelter homes, if the problem is with the family members than why the family members are not willing to do so? It is very unfortunate to experience such issue to have happened and on the other hand it is highly questionable that was no one aware about her pregnancy while she was loitering around in the localities with her Baby Bump? Now the incident occurred and came into light and how would it be handled and investigated is being awaited.

We understand that the crisis of COVID-19 is becoming critical and the steps taken up by the state government highly appreciated. However, in a society we are living we came across various unsolved crimes and still such crimes are continuing at the peak hour of the pandemic. My concern is how we are going to deal such issue hand in hand with the crisis of COVID-19? We cannot deny and neglect to handle the issue of crime against women and children having the reason that all are engaged in dealing the COVID-19 crisis. It is good to note that the world already has experienced the Crisis of Covid-19 for the last few months on how to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. We already have faced 85 cases of crime against women and children which includes 15 rape cases, five murder cases, five suspicious death cases and two delivery death till the June 14, 2020 from the month of January.  

(The views expressed are the writer’s own)

First Published:July 1, 2020, 4:30 p.m.