Stalker Stabs Minor Multiple Times in Broad Daylight in Hyderabad
A 17-year-old girl was brutally attacked and stabbed by her alleged stalker near her home in Hyderabad on Wednesday morning. The girl had been walking to college when 19-year-old Bharat stabbed her multiple times with a large knife and dragged her into a small lane, where he continued to assault her. Police say that the he had been stalking her for months.
“We are currently in search of the accused who has been absconding since the incident took place. An FIR has been filed, he’s been charged with attempt to murder, a case will be filed under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012) as well.”P Govinda Reddy, Additional DCP Central Zone, to The News Minute
The girl's sister told the media that normally her uncle drops her at college, but on Wednesday, she had gone alone. After Bharat stabbed the girl, she called out for her mother, but the mother did not realise that she was in danger and did not rush to her. The mother told reporters that she could hear her daughter screaming after she had been pulled into the lane.
According to the victim's uncle, Bharat and the girl were not in a relationship as some reports had suggested, but Bharat had been harassing her. The uncle even tried to talk to Bharat, who said he would not harm the girl. The family also complained to police about Bharat's harassment, but no action was taken, they claimed.
The girl has been admitted to Yashoda Hospital in Malakpet after sustaining several injuries from the attack.
“She is being attended to by medical personnel at the moment. He stabbed her and she’s sustained grievous injuries. Her condition is quite serious as of now. The doctors attending to her are planning to take her up for surgery, but until she is stabilised this will not be possible.”A hospital representative to The News Minute
Yashoda Hospital PRO Sampath told TNM that the girl had been attacked 15 to 17 times on her neck, head and hands. They were waiting for her blood pressure to stabilise before prepping her for surgery.
This incident comes days after another horrific story about a young girl who was set on fire by her stalker. The 12-year-old girl is a resident of Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district and was taken to the hospital following the tragedy where she continues to fight for her life.
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.
(The Quint is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)