A Damning Record
- Under Aged Rape Cases Continue
By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
The complaints on the rape of under aged girls continue to increase with another case of a girl being raped over a period of two days is reported from Nawalapitiya.
The 15 year old girl from Ovitamahakumbhura in Nawalapitiya had been reported missing by her family on July 4th.
Fathima (name changed) had been picked up by a known three wheeler driver in the area at
a round 10 p.m. on the 2nd of this month when she had gone to the boutique to buy a loaf of bread.
The three wheeler driver, 37 year old Mohomad Zainur Mohomad Kahir had told Fathima that her mother wanted her to go to the town with him to fetch some commodities she had purchased earlier in the day.
Instead of going to the town, Kahir had taken the girl to a rest house in Nawalapitiya called Rambukpitiya Rest.
Once at the rest house, Kahir had taken a room and 30 year old businessman Mubarak Mohomad had joined them.
The two of them had then raped the girl at the rest house over a period of two days.
After two days, on the 5th, Fathima had been threatened and dropped off in the Nawalapitiya town.
She had then found her way to the Nawalapitiya Police and the police had informed her mother since she was reported missing to the police by her family the previous day.
After Fathima had complained to the police about what had happened, she was taken to the Nawalapitiya Hospital for medical treatment.
The Nawalapitiya Police had arrested three persons in connection with the Fathima’s rape case.
The police have arrested Kahir, Mubarak Mohomad and the 31 years old owner of the rest house, Mahamanthakalage Prabath Madhushan for aiding the rape of an under aged girl.
The suspects were remanded by the Nawalapitiya Magistrate and were to be presented before courts again on the 12th.
However, Fathima’s rape is one in the many hundreds of such cases that have been reported to the police this year.
Police records have revealed that over 700 incidents of rape or abuse of children have been reported during the first six months of this year, while over 900 complaints have been received of women and child rape/abuse cases. Last year, the police have recorded over 1,700 incidents of rape and abuse involving children and women, of which around 1,160 were child abuse and rape cases.
In 2010, 1,089 rape cases of children under 16 years and 235 rape cases of women and 571 grievous sexual harassment cases of children were recorded by the police.
These damning statistics have show an increase in the number of child rape and abuse cases recorded from all parts of the country.
The government meanwhile says it is considering the further strengthening of laws on child abuse and rape.
Cabinet Spokesperson and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that child abuse and rape were serious issues that need to be addressed.
He observed that stern laws need to be enforced to prevent incidents of child abuse and rape from increasing further.
The government believes that stern laws would create a fear among potential abusers as wells as the society on the whole.
Nevertheless, the government is yet to take any concrete steps with regard to strengthening the laws against rapists and abusers.