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India to prepare database of rape convicts, make it public

Dec 28, 2012

Modalities for preparing the data-base are being prepared and the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) website will be ready with the photographs, names and addresses of the rapists in a few months, the Indian government said.

Even as the 23-year-old Delhi gangrape victim was shifted to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, which has a state-of-the-art facility for multi-organ transplant, another gruesome gangrape, this time of a 42-year old woman has shocked India’s capital again. Over 300 people held a peaceful march from the Capital's Nizamuddin area to protest against the brutal attack on the girl and demand stringent punishment in rape cases.

In an attempt to name and shame rapists, the government has decided to prepare a data base of all rape convicts across the country and their photographs, names and addresses would be made public.

India’s Minister of State for Home R P N Singh said he has directed the National Crime Records Bureau to prepare a directory of all rape convicts and upload their photographs, names and addresses on its website.

"We are planning to start it in Delhi. Photographs, names and addresses of the rapists will be uploaded on Delhi Police website also," he told reporters in New Delhi. Singh said that subsequently the plan will cover all states and Union Territories and websites of state police forces will carry photographs, names and addresses of the rape convicts.

The action comes as part of the government's slew of measures aimed at preventing crime against women in the wake of surge of protests after the gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi on December 16.

Modalities for preparing the data-base are being prepared and the NCRB website will be ready with the photographs, names and addresses of the rapists in a few months. "We are very serious to deal with the problem and taking all possible action as early as possible," Singh said.

Government has already set up a Commission of Inquiry to identify lapses and fix responsibility for the December 16 gang-rape case and also constituted a committee of jurists for reviewing the existing laws to provide speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of sexual assault.

The number of rape cases in Delhi has increased in 2010 over the previous year. In 2009, there were 459 cases of rape reported across the city, while in 2010 the figure was 489. This roughly translates to one rape case every 18 hours. Also, there were 528 cases of molestation in 2009 and such cases went up to 585 in 2010 - or once every 14 hours.

With the spotlight on law and order, the debate remains on what has caused this decay of social fabric in India. The outrage over this incident is the reaction to years of such recurring incidents. One of the causes of such repeat can be the lack o convictions and the pending trials that do not make deterrents for offenders. In 2010, only 26 per cent of the perpetrators were convicted. If this is not bad enough, the court cases for these go on forever.

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