Out-On-Bail Stalker Stabs 17-Year-Old to Death in Jabalpur
On 2 December, a 17-year-old girl was stabbed to death by a man who was released on bail two months after he was jailed for stalking and molesting the same girl.
The incident took place in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, where the minor girl lived with her family. On the day of the incident, the accused allegedly barged into the victim’s house and stabbed her over 30 times.
According to India Today, the accused, identified as Shivkumar, was released on bail only a week before he allegedly stabbed and murdered the girl. He was arrested for molesting the girl at her house under the POCSO Act. He was arrested again on Monday while trying escape the spot after stabbing the girl.
“The accused bought a Chinese-made knife from an online portal after his release from jail and kept a watch on the victim’s house. On Monday, minutes after the victim’s parents stepped out of the house, he barged in and bolted the main door from inside. The victim’s screams were first heard by her younger brother who was playing outside the house. He raised an alarm following which a neighbour informed the police. People gathered around the house after they heard screams. The accused tried to flee but was nabbed.”Gopalpur Station House Officer Praveen Dhruve to India Today
The victim was rushed to hospital by the police, where she was declared dead. She was stabbed around 30 times and died of excessive bleeding, police said.
Make Stalking a Non-Bailable Offence
The Quint has been running a campaign to make stalking a non-bailable offence. Stalking, as a bailable offence, allows stalkers to get bail without much scrutiny. This often poses the threat of acid attacks, rape, and even murder on survivors. The aforementioned case is testament to the same.
Stalking as a separate offence did not exist in the IPC until 2013. This necessarily impacts any analysis of the statistics related 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 dealt with in the country.
- In 2014, nearly 4,700 cases of stalking were reported. The figure jumped to 6,300 in 2015 – a 33 percent increase. In 2016, nearly 7,200 cases were reported. Given that awareness about the offence is still at a nascent stage, and the offence is not taken seriously, numbers so high which only increase every year indicate how prevalent the crime actually 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 ie, 11.4 percent. 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 percent in 2014, 5 percent in 2015 and 5 percent in 2016 resulted in convictions. In terms of trials, the conviction rate was 35 percent in 2014, but dropped to 26 percent in 2015 and stood at 26.4 percent 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 percent of all cases investigated in the year – which is below the average percentage of false cases per crimes investigated across the country: 2.5 percent
This is why The Quint had launched a petition along with Varnika Kundu and MP Shashi Tharoor to appeal to then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to make stalking a non-bailable offence.
Follow our campaign here.
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