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Roshan Shankar @roshankar
, 41 tweets, 15 min read Read on Twitter
Nirbhaya awoke India's consciousness. Unnao and Kathua might just kill its soul.

It's time to #SpeakUp and demand #JusticeForOurChild. This is a make or break moment of moral transformation.

Here's an unplanned tweethurricane that I hope will make you think and act. /1
The impunity and utter inability of the criminal justice system and sarkaar to provide security or justice to our women and children has been a slow emergency, like strangulation over six decades. #JusticeForOurChild will be a long and hard battle on multiple fronts. /2
The biggest unseen minority of India are women and children. They are systematically violated by power, mafia and income inequality. As a votebank, women's votes are traditionally influenced by males in most states and children don't have any. Causing further governance decay. /3
What India has needed is a carefully crafted set of policies and affirmative action together with continuous efforts to change patriarchal mindsets and attitudes at all levels with state, market and society coalescing for national interest. /4
Despite the solemn and well-detailed assurances enshrined in the Indian Constitution, women and children are second-class citizens in India. That's the harsh truth. They are taken for granted by the state, community and households with a steady deterioration over the years. /5
In India, there were 1,58,928 cases of crimes against women pending investigation in 2016, with 3.38 lakh cases being reported nationally.

Out of the total 4.97 lakh cases, only 2.6 lakh cases had chargesheets filed with a 33% police pendency.

#JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /6
There are 13.42 lakh court cases on women's safety with 2.6 lakh in 2016.

1.22 lakh cases had trials completed, which is less than 10% leading to 23094 convictions, which is 0.017% of the reported crime.

This is not a system. This is broken.

#JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /7
The violation of a survivor begins with the act that robs her of personal freedom and continues with a systematic violation of her rights through the denial and delay of justice. Victim comes naturally in our linguistics because we know that to be reality.
#JusticeForOurChild /8
Delhi is where the President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India live.

The Indian PM controls the Delhi Police through the MHA.

Delhi Police has a case pendency of 61.6%. Delhi's judiciary has a 92% pendency.

How can you be OK with it?

#JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /9
According to 2016 NCRB data, Delhi Police has 34769 cases of crimes against women with a case pendency shooting up to 61.6%. Only 8542 cases had chargesheets submitted and 21409 cases remain pending. Welcome to the Statistical Hall of Shame. #JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /10
In India, 4.95 lakh persons arrested for crimes against women (with 4.38 lakh male arrests and 0.57 lakh female arrests), only 4.11 lakh persons are chargesheeted and only 40k people were convicted.

A constantly evolving Indian tragedy.

#JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /10
38,927 cases of rape were reported in 2016 out of which Delhi alone accounted for 2155 cases.

520 cases nationally and 55 cases in Delhi have been rape where the victim is less than 6 years old.

Barbarism lived here. Someone just turned the lights on. #JusticeForOurChild /11
Delhi tops the crime rate with relation to crimes against women in 2016 amongst all states and UTs with 160.4 crimes against women per lakh population. Only Assam comes close. @SwatiJaiHind has been crying hoarse with this for 3 years hoping against hope. #JusticeForOurChild /12
Delhi accounts for 21% of the total crimes across India’s 53 mega-cities. It reports the highest incidences of rape, assaults and owry deaths. It accounts for 26% of all assault on women cases in 53 cities.

#JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /13
I give you Delhi numbers for context. If Delhi, the place where power resides, money flows, fame breathes and media buzzes, faces such a disproportionately violent present, the situation of Kathua and Unnao is unimaginable. Literally. #JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /14
India must transform for its women and children.

Legislation can be bolstered per expert recommendations.

Governance needs investment and process improvements in the supply chain of justice.

Judiciary needs resources and independence.

#JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /15
Section 4, 6 and 8 of the POCSO Act, which deals with protection of children from sexual offences could have sentencing based on scheduling or on the nature of offence. A specific clause for repeat offenders is needed appended to Section 8. #JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /16
Section 10 and 12 of the POCSO Act could also be amended similarly with higher punishments, specific gradations of punishment and clauses for repeat offenders. Activists and lawyers must find ways to navigate the political economy to scale good. #JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /17
Rape cases of women and children are currently governed by IPC Section 376 and POCSO Act. Other than considering possible amendments in sentencing in POCSO, there are many other clarifications and amendments that can be made. #JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /17
POCSO is not implemented in its full letter and spirit in Delhi, or indeed, anywhere in India. Improvements to infrastructure and HR is needed at POCSO courts, with proper training of prosecutors and victim compensation processes. #JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /18
The sentence of life imprisonment under POCSO does not specify that ‘life’ shall mean the whole of the accused’s life, as is provided for under Section 376(2), 376-A, 376-C, 376-D and 376-E of the IPC. This needs to be fixed. #JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /19
Modern society has no place for the death penalty as an ideal or policy. I oppose it unequivocally. However, when the system is broken on every front and no one seems to fix anything, punishment by the stroke of a pen seems easy for catharsis. #JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /20
However don't close the door to ideas of law and policy that seek to improve our existing framework till we can reimagine it. Could mandatory minimums work in certain laws? Could positive and negative schedules affecting sentencing be made? #JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /21
However, if laws and policies were all that development depended upon, India would have been rubbing shoulders with Sweden and Denmark. However, decades of misgovernance and misrule with social decay has brought us where we are today. #JusticeForOurChild #SpeakUp /22
Infrastructure, logistics and a lack of accountability and oversight over various stages of the criminal justice framework have led to delays and inefficiency in investigation, prosecution and fair trials in sexual offence cases. The supply chain of justice is broken. /23
Police needs reform and transformation right from the legislative framework to its operational implementation and audit. @AllIndiaBakchod's great summary with suitably titled episodes: 'Cop Blocked" (English) + "Darr ke Aage Police Hai' (Hindi). /24…
Bad politics has led to bad policing, particularly in the absence of community ownership. Crime is allowed to percolate and escalate. Lower forms of sexual harassment turn into aggressive ones. The letter and spirit of the law is crushed. /25
The legislative framework can improve to improving policing outcomes as well. fine-tuned police reporting and accountability can bolster safety related outcomes. The JS Verma Committee Report didn't translate exactly to the Criminal Amendment of 2013. /26
While Parliament accepted the JS Verma Committee’s recommendation for enhancement of punishment in cases of rape leading to death or vegetative state of the victim, a similar enhancement for cases of gang rape was not approved by Parliament in the 2013 amendment of the IPC. /27
Section 354 was recommended to be replaced with a progressive clause and terminology around sexual assault, which was due to its operational malinterpretation in courts, where lawyers defending rape accused sought to test whether a woman is modest or not. /28
Suggestions on Section 375 and 377 were also ignored. Section 154 of the CrPC and Section 114A of the Indian Evidence Act can be amended to ease the survivor's judicial ordeal. These are all legislative changes that we must push for, from the Government of India. /29
There must be a rapid investment and improvement in the justice infrastructure. Forensic Science Labs across the country lack equipment, scientific staff, DNA testing facilities, electronic databases and audi processes. Every state must push for this. /29
States need to provide and expedite the building of court complexes as well as fulfil hiring of judges at all levels of hierarchy in the judiciary. Acquittals monitoring committees as per Kisanbhai need to be set up. /29
Women navigate the justice system without information on legal processes or agencies or their rights and role as witnesses. An independent specialized agency needs to be established for directly providing or facilitating comprehensive support services. /30
Based on the Gauravi model in Bhopal and Aparajita model in Jaipur, one-stop crisis centers are necessary in every district. The Modi BJP Government has done a great disservice to survivors by cutting funding on RCCs and the complete non-utilization of the Nirbhaya Fund. /31
Monetary aid provided under POCSO rules, witness protection in sexual offence cases, the creation of a sexual offenders registry, widely publicizing the state legal services authority are some immediately doable process interventions to bolster child safety. /31
Municipal corporations and city governments must fix street illumination, public transport connectivity across every key node in its districts, and municipal corporations must fix town vending and urban planning. These map closely to the Jagori Safe Cities Report. /32
The long-term project is education. Interventions in early childhood education, confidence and capacity building in stakeholders, happiness curriculums, school infrastructure transformation community ownership and partnership are the foundation stones to a fulfilled society. /33
Gender sensitization and sex education at schools, sexual harassment training, self-defence training, laws that encourage good samaritan behaviour, laws that prevent private discrimination are important projects that states must pursue. /34
These are some tangible ideas that can find the light of day in states and the central government which can definitely measurably make a difference. Use the tragedy to move you to action. We need more informed citizens to fix this problem which seems to our cultural ethos. /35
Tweetstorm ideas come from projects in Delhi Government, Delhi Commission for Women and SIHPI. Three tweets are sentences from a tabled report on women's safety. Help us get capacity, funding and personnel to scale these ideas! Write in at roshankar[at]gmail[dot]com :) /36 /FIN
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