The Amnesty International India has called for an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into alleged misconduct of police officers in the case of abduction and rape of a five-year-old girl in Gandhi Nagar here. “This case shows the appalling extent of indifference in the police to the violence against women and girls and the inadequacy of internal processes to ensure professional conduct,” said Amnesty International India chief executive G. Ananthapadmanabhan.

The girl’s uncle told Amnesty International that the police had delayed formally registering a case when the family reported that she had gone missing. After the girl was found, they refused to register a case of rape. He claimed that after the media began to report on the case, the police offered the family a bribe of Rs.2,000 to stay silent and told them to be thankful that the girl was still alive.

“The police must be held accountable for their shocking levels of apathy. They urgently need to review police processes to ensure that all cases of rape and sexual violence – not just those highlighted by the media – are fully and promptly investigated. Those who fail to do their job must be held accountable. Mere changes in the law are not enough. Robust implementation is essential,” said Mr. Ananthapadmanabhan.

Amnesty International has also called for any suspects in the case to be prosecuted in accordance with the international fair trial standards and without recourse to death penalty.

In April, the Government of India passed new laws on violence against women which contained both positive and regressive provisions, it said. One of the more positive provisions made it a punishable offence for a police officer for failing to record information given relating to crimes of violence against women.

India has international legal obligations to take appropriate and effective measures to prevent and punish all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, whether by the public or private acts, said a Press statement issued by the Amnesty International of India.