Flashback 2014: Rise in sexual assault cases; India witnesses unprecedented protests

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Bengaluru, Dec 15: On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old medical student was brutally raped by 6 men while travelling in a private bus in New Delhi. The girl later succumbed to her injuries. This incident led to unprecedented level of protests across the country against rise in crimes against women.

The incident did change the attitude of the society towards sexual assault victims to a great extent and people started speaking out against such crimes.

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The year 2014 saw a rise in the number of reported cases of crimes against women. In many parts of the country, massive protests were held against incidents of rape and government's inability to bring perpetrators before the court of law.

Here is a look at some of the several sexual assault incidents that happened in the country in 2014.

Eastern India

In the first month, January, protests rocked the capital city of West Bengal, Kolkata, where a 16-year-old girl was gang-raped twice and set on fire in October 2013. As against what police had said in 2013, it was revealed that she didn't commit suicide, but was killed by the rapists. That spurred massive protests in Kolkata.

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Read: Kolkata gangrape: Victim's family demands CBI probe

The incident took place in a town 90 km away from Kolkata. The girl was reportedly, gangraped twice in October 2013.

A human chain was formed by Congress workers at Kolkata's Hazra More. At Metro Channel, the Left Front conducted a drive to raise money for the girl's family. In Madhyamgram, the girl's village, locals demonstrated outside the police.

Again in West Bengal, On January 22, a 20-year-old tribal woman was allegedly gang- on the orders of a Salishi Sabha, a kangaroo court. According to the police, as many as 12 persons raped the young woman, at Subalpur village in Birbhum, about 180 km from Kolkata.

Read more: WB gangrape case: All accused remanded to 13 days police custody

Birbhum is the home district of President Pranab Mukherjee. The crimes alleged against the girl were: Falling in love with a man from outside her community and then failng to cough up Rs. 50,000 fine imposed by the salishi sabha.

In Manipur, on April 20, one person died in police firing as demonstrators protested against the rape of a minor girl from Nepal by a government contractor.

Read: Manipur: 8-year old brutally raped and murdered by neighbour

The incident rocked the city and irate locals blocked the Imphal-Dimapur national highway at various places.

North India

The most controversial incident in 2014 happened in a small village in Uttar Pradesh on 27 May. Two teenage girls were reportedly raped and murdered in the Katra village of Budaun district, Uttar Pradesh. The girls, who went out into the fields that was used as a toilet area in the evening, did not return.

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Though the police were notified, initially no action was taken. The girls' relatives and other villagers searched throughout the night and the girls were found the following morning hanging from a tree.

Read: Badaun gangrape more gruesome than Dec 16 incident: Family of victims

The incident triggered much hue and cry across the country and even attracted so much global attention.
Later, the CBI who investigated the case found no evidence of rape, and the initial examination, conducted by physician who had never conducted rape investigations before, was flawed.

However, the CBI investigation was alleged to be a cover-up by the state and Central government "to avoid international shame and acceptance of the dismal law and order situation".

South India

The rape cases in Karnataka saw a steady increase in 2014, especially those in schools. In many cases, children under 10 were raped in the school campus. On July 22, the controversy grew further as chief minister Siddaramaiah asked the reporters, ""Is this the only news you can cover?" when asked about the rape of a six-year-old at a Bangalore school.

Hundreds of parents in the city protested against the rape of the child in a well-known Bangalore school. Later, Siddaramaiah went on to add, "Whatever action is required we will take that...Wherever we can invoke the Goonda Act we will do that."

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Read: Bangalore school assistant arrested for raping child

Read: Another Bangalore school girl raped, suspect arrested

On July 11, a 22-year-old woman was raped in Fraser Town. the rape of a little girl in her east Bangalore school, have queered the pitch for the government.

The state government on Monday had said police will book a case against the management of the city school where the child was raped by a skating instructor. The Goonda Act will be invoked against the culprit. 

On November 1, a fourth such case was registered in Bengaluru. A six-year-old girl was raped and the Principal of the school, along with the Head of the Management on charges of negligence after protests were held in various parts of the city.

The two of Cambridge School were arrested under IPC sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), additional commissioner of police Alok Kumar told PTI here.

Read: Sexual assault: Parents protest against Bangalore school

A week before this, a 3-year-old girl was raped in a Bengaluru school following which people took to the streets like never before, demanding safety of kids at school. After rise in number of sexual assaults of minor girls in schools in the city, Bengaluru police even came out with safety guidelines to be observed to ensure safety of children in educational institutions.

West India

In Mumbai, a 5-year-old child was brutally raped and a sweeping broom inserted into her vagina in Mumbai's Kandivali on August 21. The girl who lived on footpath with her mother and brother at Saibaba Nagar, was abducted early in the morning by the accused, who resided in the neighbourhood, police said.

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