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TEACHER TURNS RAPIST: Civil society enraged, calls for severest punishment

Srinagar Apr 27: After a teacher from Baramulla was Friday arrested for allegedly raping a girl student, civil society members demanded stringent punishment for the accused.
Police on Friday said that it had arrested a teacher in the district for raping and impregnating a 17-year old girl.
The incident, the police said came to light at a local hospital, where the teacher had allegedly taken the girl for abortion.
Reacting to the incident, Chairperson, Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies (KCSDS), Prof Hameeda Nayeem said the accused teacher should be brought to book and there should be severest punishment for the perpetrators in similar cases.
“The accused should not be let unpunished. Such persons should be hanged for molesting the student he is supposed to safeguard,” Prof Nayeem added.
She said that they “have been receiving complaints of sexual molestation from many institutions” in the valley.
“Amid the ongoing turmoil in the valley, such cases get unnoticed, but the government should take strong notice of this incident,” she added.
Condemning the incident, Shakeel Qalandar, a civil society member suggested addressing such incidents at the societal, government and judiciary levels.
“Although concerned laws are there, but these laws should be made more stringent. Unfortunately, there is usually a delay in the legal procedure. There should be a fast track court set up in such cases so that the process is expedited,” Qalandar said.
He said that there “should be a social boycott for the perpetrators in such cases”.
“What we usually see in our society is that the victim in such cases is looked down upon, which results in their non-acceptability in the society. This is very unfortunate. As a result of this, many cases get unreported with the victims hesitating to come forward,” he added.
Calling the incident “shameful”, social activist, Izabir Ali said that it was “unfortunate that such cases are suddenly surfacing”.
“It really makes you wonder what is happening to us as a society,” she said.
Ali said that a good number of such cases were not reported because of social taboo attached.
“The victims do not come out because of fear or family honour. That is understandable, but we need to report it. The victims should identify and shame the person responsible. It requires lot of guts, it is not that easy,” suggested Ali.
“The society should come forward and ensure the victim gets justice. And justice should be quickly delivered. When there are stringent laws and action, the perpetrator would think ten times before committing the crime,” she added.