Friday, December 30, 2011

Dutchwoman, 18, Allegedly Raped in Mumbai

Police in Mumbai have reportedly arrested one of two suspects involved in the alleged rape of a Dutchwoman, 18, at a secluded spot on December 26. Rajpati Baburam Nishat, 22, a resident of Nalasopara, was arrested in recent days, although the rickshaw driver is seemingly still at large. Sketches of the two accused were prepared after the victim registered a complaint and narrated the experience with descriptions of the two suspects. Police have also traced the mobile phone that the two suspects had stolen from the victim after they assaulted her.

COMMENT: Nishat has already confessed to the crime, although he refuses to implicate the other suspect.

The victim had traveled to Mumbai on a tourist visa of six months, having completed her schooling in the Netherlands.

According to the victim’s statement to the police, at roughly 0100 hours on December 26, she and her friend took a rickshaw from Vasai and reached the Dahisar check post. From there, they took another rickshaw, but her friend got off at Kandivali, while she went towards Mulund alone. She asked the auto driver to take her through the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road. Minutes later, the rickshaw driver stopped for a friend. Shortly thereafter, the two men, despite protests from the woman, took her to an isolated area where they allegedly raped her.

Several good questions come to mind in this case: Why did this young Dutchwoman travel half way around the world alone? Why did she not travel with a friend? How was she intending to support herself, unless, of course, she is independently wealthy? Why was she out alone late at night in Mumbai, with little real-world experience? Why did she not take a hotel taxi at the time of night, which would have been much safer and reliable? Also, rickshaw drivers in any country are not necessarily the salt of the earth. Many are unsavory, opportunistic, have criminal backgrounds, always argue over fares and are not good folks to be around with late at night.

A final thought. Foreign women have been targeted by rapists for years in India; case studies are virtually endless.

Indeed, the victim in this case appeared to have zero knowledge in security awareness, which her parents should have taught her.

Hopefully, the victim's assailants will be brought to justice and hopefully this young woman will learn how to keep herself safe during the rest of her time in India.

No comments: