A stalker who was out on bail attacked a mother and daughter in broad daylight in Saharanpur’s busy Nanauta area. Wajahat Khan, the 32-year-old accused, has been previously arrested for stalking and harassing the same girl. He attacked the 25-year-old girl and her 50-year-old mother.
“Six months ago, Khan was jailed for harassing the same girl. He was allegedly in a relationship with her until a few years ago. After he was spurned, he attacked the girl and her mother at their house earlier in the year too.”SSP Dinesh Kumar to The Times of India
Witnesses claim that Khan attacked the mother and the daughter multiple times with a sword in a busy market street, inflicting serious injuries.
The accused later climbed the roof of a friend’s house and slit his own throat with a razor. All three were immediately admitted to the Saharanpur Medical College and were later referred to PGI Chandigarh. Unfortunately, the girl’s mother succumbed to injuries, whereas the girl is still critical. A case of attempt to murder, Section 307 of the IPC was put on the accused.
Make Stalking a Non-Bailable Offence
The Quint has been running a campaign to make stalking a non-bailable offence since August 2017. The fact that stalking is still a bailable offence in our country allows stalkers to get bail without serious scrutiny. This often puts the survivors at risk of facing acid attacks, rape, and even murder. And that is exactly what happened in this stalking case as well. The accused was out on bail when he went on this killing spree.
Stalking as a separate offence did not exist in the IPC till 2013. This necessarily affects any analysis of the statistics relating to stalking, as the National Crime Records Bureau (“NCRB”) only has statistical data for the years 2014-2016. Despite this, the data available paints an interesting picture of the nature of the crime and the way it is being dealt with in the country.
- In 2014, nearly 4,700 cases of stalking were reported. This jumped to 6,300 in 2015 – a 33% increase. In 2016, nearly 7,200 cases were reported. Given that awareness about the offence is still nascent and society still tends to view stalking as not too serious an offence, such high numbers, with increases every year, indicate how prevalent the crime really is.
- Pendency rates for trials are high. In 2016, 13,449 cases were pending trial for stalking, out of which trial was completed in only 1,534 cases i.e. 11.4%. This leaves a huge backlog of trials to be carried forward into the new year.
- In terms of the number of cases reported each year, only 3% in 2014, 5% in 2015 and 5% in 2016 resulted in convictions. In terms of trials, the conviction rate was 35% in 2014, but dropped to 26% in 2015 and stood at 26.4% in 2016.
- Importantly, the data indicates a lower-than-normal incidence of false cases. The NCRB’s statistics show that of the 9,800 stalking cases investigated by the police in the year, only 215 were found by them to be false. This comes out to be only 2.1% of all cases investigated in the year – which is below the average percentage of false cases per crimes investigated across the country: 2.5%
This is why The Quint has launched a petition along with Varnika Kundu and MP Shashi Tharoor to appeal that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh make stalking a non-bailable offence. Sign our petition here.