A girl was raped 2 months ago; the case is going nowhere

It was on January 11 that the life of an eight-year-old girl was turned upside down by two men who abused not just her body but her spirit too inside the grimy cabin of a lorry parked in a not-so-secluded area in Vallakadavu. More than two months later, after a medical examination confirmed rape and the child had to be taken for counselling to help her out of the immediate trauma, the faces of those two men still remain unknown.

The incident had come to light slowly, nearly four days after it happened with the child remaining tight-lipped about it till a counselling session in her school helped her open up. The school authorities informed the police and her parents. According to the Valiathura police, the child’s statement was that two men had offered her sweets when she was walking home from a nearby shop on a Saturday evening. The men had tried to lure her from near the lorry parking area at Vallakadavu and forcibly taken her into a lorry there before sexually abusing her. Till date, not much than this is known, with the reply from the police being that the investigation is still on.

Rail trouble, again

It is not too long back that the safety of women travelling on trains was a topic of fierce debate. After Tuesday, there will be a question on the safety of women on railway station premises too. A 50-year-old woman is now battling trauma and injuries, after a pantry staff, allegedly inebriated and sleeping inside the pantry car, attempted to molest her while she, a contract sanitation worker, was cleaning the compartment of a stationary train in the Central Railway Station here in the wee hours of Tuesday.

The odd time — 3 a.m. — when the attempt was made notwithstanding, the fact that it was made inside an area which has exclusive security systems of its own, the Railway Police and the Railway Protection Force, will haunt women who have to travel at odd hours.

The police are enhancing security measures in other parts of the city. According to Deputy Commissioner S. Ajeetha Begum, the recently set up Fem Patrol is already on the job without much fanfare or a formal launch. Over 80 ‘trouble spots’ have been identified in the city and police personnel in mufti are frequenting these spots, with 10 cases of harassment of women being registered in the past one week. The patrol is slowly being strengthened.

The RPF, on its part, has beefed up security on the station premises, apart from banning railway staff from sleeping inside trains, a senior official said.