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India criticised for 'attitude problem' on rape

India needs a complete overhaul in the way it handles rape allegations, human rights campaigners say, after a German woman dropped a sex attack claim citing pressure and intimidation.

The woman alleged that her 14-year-old daughter was raped by the son of a prominent minister in the resort state of Goa but withdrew the complaint on Monday, saying she was made to feel like a criminal.

Separately, a British woman who was raped in New Delhi New Delhi (dĕl`ē), city (1991 pop. 294,149), capital of India and of Delhi state, N central India, on the right bank of the Yamuna River.  said on Tuesday that Indian authorities do not take sexual assaults seriously as her attacker was freed on bail after serving just three months of a 21-year jail sentence jail sentence jail npeine f de prison .

Meenakshi Ganguly, from Human Rights Watch in Mumbai, said legislation had changed since a high-profile case in the 1970s, when two police officers who raped a teenage girl were acquitted by a court, but attitudes lagged behind.

As in the case of British girl Scarlett Keeling keeling

the marking of ewes by the ram when they are mated by the marking on the ewe of paint or chalk from the sternum of the ram.
, 15, whose body was found on a Goa beach in February, revelations of drug taking and that she had an older boyfriend led to an attitude that "she asked for it", Ganguly told AFP (1) (AppleTalk Filing Protocol) The file sharing protocol used in an AppleTalk network. In order for non-Apple networks to access data in an AppleShare server, their protocols must translate into the AFP language. See file sharing protocol. .

"A rape victim therefore faces a double ordeal: on the one hand there is a social pushback push·back  
1. A device or mechanism that affords movement of another object backwards: the pushback on a subway door.

2. Forced movement of troops back from the line.
, especially if it's an Indian woman as it affects her suitability for marriage and so on," she added.

"Then at the police station there is an almost inevitable attitude of 'she asked for it'. This has come up far too often... There is a lot of debasement Debasement

1. To lower the value, quality or status of something or someone.

2. To lower the value (of a coin) by adding metal of inferior value.

In other words, debasement is the degrading of the value of something or character of someone.
 of rape victims. It's part of the reason a lot of rapes go unreported."

The German woman said in a letter released to the media on Monday that since she filed the complaint in mid-October, she and her daughter had endured a "living hell", as police tried to get her to drop the allegation.

"We have learnt the bitter truth, that making genuine complaints against the rich and mighty is entirely counterproductive," the letter said.

"We are constantly hounded, our names sullied, campaigns organised against us and all sorts of motives attributed to us."

The woman's lawyer, Aires Rodrigues, added that she and her daughter were verbally abused by a doctor who was tasked to conduct a medical examination while immigration authorities immigration authorities nplservicio sg de inmigración

immigration authorities nplservice m de l'immigration

 opened an investigation against her.

"She was made to look like the accused. Even the victim was treated like the accused by police," he added.

According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the latest available statistics from India's National Crime Records Bureau, there were 19,348 rape cases in 2006 -- a 678 percent increase since 1971 when records began.

The increase far outstrips rises in other violent crimes such as murder, robbery and kidnapping. In January, India's first female President Pratibha Patil Pratibha Patil (Marathi: प्रतिभा पाटील) (born December 19, 1934) is the 12th and current President of India. She is the first woman and first Maharashtrian to hold this post.  called for stricter punishments and for women to learn self-defence.

The British woman who was raped in New Delhi last year said she was dismayed when prosecutors failed to turn up at a court hearing this week to discuss whether it was right to free her attacker.

"If the government fails to turn up at the Supreme Court, that's not taking it seriously, that's the complete opposite," said the woman, who cannot be named.

"I'm not talking about just me, they need to take the level of sexual crime against women in India The status of women in India has been subject to great many changes over the past few millennia. From a largely unknown status in ancient times through the low points of the medieval period, to the promotion of equal rights by many reformers, the history of women in India has been  very seriously."

India's culture and tourism minister Sujit Banerjee, in London to drum up foreign visitors, admitted his country had a problem.

"There has to be a complete reinvention of police attitudes to rape which means that they have to be sensitive to rape victims, have training to get victims to undergo medical tests, counselling and support," he said.

"It needs an absolute overhaul."
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Publication:AFP Asian Edition
Date:Nov 13, 2008
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