Victims are between three and 17 years of age; 15 convicted in POCSO cases in 2016 and 2017
Notwithstanding the claims being made by the government on prevention of sexual abuse against minor girls, 2,430 girls were raped in Andhra Pradesh in the last two years and three months.
The victims were aged between three and 17, and in the majority of the cases, the accused were known to them. NGO representatives said that in many cases the victims were forced to arrive at a compromise and many incidents went unreported.
The police registered cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
“In some cases, the community elders and the local leaders mediated and settled the cases. Due to social stigma, the victims’ families did not venture to lodge criminal cases and the minor girls are suffering the trauma silently,” an NGO activist said.
According to the police, 1,020 cases under the POCSO Act were registered in 2016, 1,144 last year and 266 up to March end this year.
Eleven persons were convicted in 2016, three accused were awarded imprisonment in the POCSO cases in 2017 and the remaining cases were at different stages, the police said. “About 10 minor girl sexual assault cases were reported in Guntur in the last few months. In some cases, the innocent victims were killed and the AP Women Commission visited the spot, consoled the family members and brought the accused to the book,” said Commission Chairperson Nannapaneni Rajakumari.
The police should step up vigil, particularly in rural areas, establish Mahila police stations and Fast Track Courts and award capital punishment to the rapists, she said. “The Tenali, Macherla, Bellamkonda and Dachepalli incidents are very inhuman and in all the cases the victims are below 12 years. The accused should be punished severely,” said State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) Chairperson G. Hymavathi, who visited the victim of the Dachepalli incident at the Guntur Government General Hospital on Saturday.
Commission member V.V. Krishna Kumar opined that pornography should be banned in all social media sites to prevent sexual abuse cases.