‘City peaceful has become unsafe’

While sentencing auto driver, aides to life term until death, court raises concern over rise in rape cases in Chandigarh that have shaken ‘collective consciousness of society’

Updated: Sep 02, 2018 11:57:40

By Aneesha Bedi

(From left) Convicts Mohammad Garib (26), Kismat Ali (24) and Mohammad Irfan (29). (HT Photo)

 Calling the November 2017 auto gangrape case a “classic example” of how the “city peaceful has become unsafe”, a UT court on Friday, while sentencing the three convicts to life term until death, said Chandigarh is no more left behind Delhi when it comes to rape cases, which have shaken the “collective consciousness of society”.

Stating figures of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the court  of district and sessions judge Poonam R Joshi referred to the rise in incident of rapes wherein four such cases were reported every hour in the country in 2016 and two every hour in 2017. While 34,651 rape cases were registered across the country in 2015, the number went up to 38,947 in 2016, said the court, adding that the overall crime rate against women rose from 3% to 12%. 

Turning the focus to the City Beautiful, the judge stated in the order: “Initially, it was thought that it’s Delhi where the number of rape cases reported each year has tripled over the past five years, but now Chandigarh is not left behind Delhi...”

On plight of women

The crowded court room was engulfed in an eerie silence as the judge pronounced the order, in sync with the observations in the 49-page-long judgment.  

“The incident had made every woman staying in Chandigarh to think unaccountable number of times as to whether she should step out after sunset even if she had an important task,” read the order. 

“A woman who steps out to earn her livelihood has become the victim of none else but the persons running public transport in which the public has full faith,” observed the judge, adding that the incident sent shivers not only down the spine of women but the city as a whole.

‘There is no control’

“The capital of two good states boasts of excellent police patrolling and management but the incident has sent shivers down the spine of not only the residents of the city but of the country as a whole. The autos are going unchecked in the city and there is no control. It is high time police look into the matter and keep a check on all the autos and other public transports plying in the city so that such untoward incidents are not repeated.” 

Poonam R Joshi, district and sessions judge

First Published: Sep 01, 2018 10:38:51


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