Shillong: Concerned at the escalating rape cases in tribal areas, a leading women NGO in Meghalaya on Wednesday wrote to the Justice JS Verma`s Committee demanding life sentence to rapists/molesters, besides imposing punishment to officers, including the police, who deny help to rape victims.
The NGO Civil Society Women`s Organisation (CSWO) which has been bringing to the fore the plight of rape victims in rural Meghalaya, said, police officers should be fined Rs 50,000 for half-hearted treatment of rape cases and also for failing to assist the victim to file an FIR.
"The NGO recommended that a personal fine of Rs 50,000 to be paid to the victim by the officer-in-charge of the concerned police station if any of his staff, immediately on the same day, fail to give a signed copy of the FIR to the victim of rape or her family, or fails to help in writing the FIR, when they come to the police station to lodge an FIR on a rape case," Agnes Kharshiing, CSWO president told the Committee.
"In most instances, the police, especially in the rural areas, do not give a copy of the FIR to the victim denying any document proof at a later date due to the absence of the FIR copy. Many times, police do not assist the illiterate victim or their relatives," she said.
It recommended that charge sheet of rape and molestation cases be made without fail within two months.
Rape cases in Meghalaya have tripled over a decade. While the state crime data recorded only 38 rape cases in the state in 2002, there were 130 rape cases in 2011.
An Assembly committee reported that crime against women pending investigation until December 31 last year was at 696 which include 337 rape cases, 135 kidnap and abduction cases of women and girls, 127 molestation and 18 sexual harassment cases.
The report said that there were 134 rape cases in last year alone of which only 81 were solved.
The government has set up the Justice JS Verma Committee to review rape laws.