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Stuck at home in lockdown, Delhi continues to record rape and molestation cases




Delhi Police personnel stand guard at Model Town police colony, identified as a Covid-19 hotspot, during the on 16 April 2020 | Kamal Kishore | PTI
Delhi Police personnel stand guard at Model Town police colony, identified as a Covid-19 hotspot, during the on 16 April 2020 | Kamal Kishore | PTI

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New Delhi: Between 1 April to 15 April, when India continued to be in lockdown, the Delhi Police received 21 reports of rape.

Deserted roads and markets, empty offices while everyone stays indoors — this has been the country for the past three weeks due to the lockdown. Yet, in this time, crimes such as burglaries, vehicle thefts and even murders were reported.

However, data for the first 15 days of April show that miscreants have been at work at a much lower incidence when compared to the corresponding time last year.

Also read: Delhi crime rate drops 42% since 15 March, close to 2,000 cases registered

‘Old’ cases surface

The Delhi Police claimed that most of the rape cases were old and the FIRs were being filed only now, but some of the cases were of domestic rapes reported from the jhuggi clusters.

“Most of these rapes did not occur during the lockdown. These are old cases, some of them also include cases in which women have alleged rape by live-in partners,” said a senior police officer.

“In some cases, it was rape by known persons including uncles, friends and neighbours. We are analysing this data,” the officer said.

Besides these, 31 cases of molestation were also recorded in the last two weeks.

In 2019, at this time, 93 rapes and 133 cases of molestation were reported from the capital.

“In some instances, it was reported that the woman was molested on a deserted road,” the officer said.

Senior officers have now instructed all districts to be extra vigilant and carry out regular patrolling in their respective areas.

“Although there is regular patrolling of the local police in all districts to ensure that the lockdown is enforced, we are being extra cautious to see that no woman, who may be out on the street, feels threatened while walking on a deserted road,” the senior police officer said.

Also read: Separated & restless, Delhi’s lockdown violators being kept in shelters just want to go home

Numbers are much lower

As many as 344 cases of motor vehicle theft, 21 cases of kidnapping, 1,914 thefts and 68 snatchings were also reported from across Delhi’s districts.

Police data accessed by ThePrint shows that there were even four murders.

According to a source in the Delhi Police, the incidents of car thefts spiked after the lockdown was enforced as most people remained indoors and private security guards were off duty.

This may be because “most people are now indoors and roads are deserted”, said the source. “Even most guards have gone back home, and so there is no one to keep a check, because of which these cases are being reported,” the source added.

The overall incidence of crime, though, is much lower when compared to April 2019, another senior police officer said, attributing it the nationwide lockdown.

“When compared with figures of crime reported in the same month last year, the numbers are much lower. There are no extortion complaints, (and) the number of murders have significantly dropped,” the senior police officer said.

At this time last year, there had been 84 cases of robbery, eight cases of extortion, 19 cases of murder, 321 cases of snatching, 124 cases of burglaries, 1,816 cases of motor vehicle theft, 115 house thefts and 236 kidnappings reported.

Also read: Movement passes already issued for essential services valid till 3 May: Delhi Police

Robbers, burglars at work too

The fear of contracting Covid-19 didn’t keep all burglars and robbers from breaking the law.

Delhi Police registered 33 cases of house thefts, 32 cases of robbery and 37 cases of burglary in April upto the fifteenth.

“Apart from thefts inside home that usually happen late at night, in many cases, men broke in even during the day. These were mostly apartments that were locked. Since there is a lockdown, people who may have left their homes at that time have not been able to return. And so, they are locked and unattended,” said the second senior police officer.

“For these cases, we either received a PCR call from the neighbours or security staff,” he added.

Apart from these, 43 accidents (simple and fatal) were reported, according to the statistics.

One case of rioting was also reported.

Also read: Delhi Police will now track quarantined patients through mobile location, says Kejriwal


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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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