December 20, 2010

15.12.10
Times of India


Switzerland drafts law to make incest legal

London: Incest could soon become legal in Switzerland as the Swiss government is considering repealing its laws on sexual relations between family members,according to a media report.

The government is claiming that the law banning incest is obsolete and there have been only three such cases since 1984,the Telegraph reported.
The upper house of the Swiss parliament has drafted a law decriminalizing sex between consenting family members which must now be considered by the government, it said.

Switzerland,which recently held a referendum passing a draconian law that will boot out foreigners convicted of committing the smallest of crimes,however,insists that children within families will continue to be protected by laws governing sexual abuse and paedophilia.Daniel Vischer,a Green party Minister of Parliament,said he saw nothing wrong with two consenting adults having sex,even if they were related.

Incest is a difficult moral question,but not one that is answered by penal law, he was quoted as saying.Barbara Schmid Federer of The Christian Peoples Party of Switzerland,however,said the proposal from the upper house was completely repugnant.I for one could not countenance painting out such a law from the statute books.

The Protestant Peoples Party is also opposed to decriminalizing the offence of incest which at present carries a maximum three year jail term.A spokesman for the party said: Murder is also quite rare in Switzerland but no one suggests that we remove that as an office from the statutes. PTI


18.12.10
Mumbai Mirror


14-yr-olds are UK’s youngest parents

The children began dating last Sept but are now confused over the future of their relationship
London A pair of school kids, both aged 14, have become UK’s youngest parents.

The baby was born last month weighing 8lb 14 oz, but the news of the birth was announced on Friday.

The two children, who are both still in school, are believed to be the youngest parents in the history of the country.

April Webster delivered a boy after getting pregnant when she and the child’s father Nathan Fishbourne were just 13, The Sun said of Webster who lives in Caerphilly, South Wales. The four-week-old child, Jamie, is living with Webster and her parents.

But Fishbourne said: “I’d love to have him at weekends - and April can have him five days during the week.”

The teenagers, who began having unprotected sex after they started dating in September last year, are also confused over the state of their relationship.

Webster said, “He has not turned his back on the baby but he’s asking to do things like have him stay over at his house and that has caused some arguments.” Fishbourne also admitted: “I’ve not thought about our future yet as that’s a long way off.”

However, the determined mum said, “Jamie wasn’t planned, but I’m going to be a great mum for him. He’s perfect and I’m going to give him everything he ever wants.”


20.12.10
Times of India


MP records highest rape cases in 2008

New Delhi: The number of rape cases across the country has increased with Madhya Pradesh reporting highest number of such crimes, according to an official data.

In most of these cases, the perpetrator of the crime was an acquaintance with the victim, according to data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau.

A total of 21,467 rape cases were reported in 2008, registering an increase of 3.5 per cent over the previous year. Provisional data for 2009 shows that 21,397 rape cases were reported during the year.

Madhya Pradesh reported as many as 2,937 cases, accounting for 13.7 per cent and highest of total rape cases, followed by West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh at 2,263 and 1,871 cases respectively.

These states were followed by Maharashtra (1,558), Assam (1,438), Rajasthan (1,355) and Bihar (1,302). The lowest number of cases were reported from Nagaland (19).

Women in the age-group of 18-30 years appeared most vulnerable to the crime.
In 2008, 57.2 per cent (12,299) of the victims were from this age group, only 0.5 per cent less than in 2007 (11,984). In as many as 91 per cent (19,542) of these cases, the offenders were known to the victims. Neighbours were accused in 33.1 per cent of rape cases.

Worried over these figures, the Consultative Committee of the Parliament attached to the Ministry of Women and Child Development at its recent meeting decided to focus on the principle of restorative justice to help the victims of the heinous crime survive.

"Rape is one of the most violent forms of crimes against women, which not only impacts her bodily integrity but in the long-run, impairs her capacity to develop meaningful personal and social relationships, and affects her life and livelihood," Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath said in the meeting.
She said the Supreme Court had directed the National Commission for Women (NCW) to evolve a "scheme so as to wipe out the tears of unfortunate victims of rape".


19.12.10
DNA


2010: The year crimes on minors sent shivers down Mumbai’s spine

This year, the city bore witness to several gruesome incidents in which minors were raped and murdered, leading to a public outcry that was widely covered by the media, highlighting the chilling fact that children in this city are far from safe. Here are some of them, which still remain unsolved despite massive pressure on the police.
Nehru Nagar nightmare

Of the many cases of child rape and murder registered this year, of the cases that continue to elude the police in spite of their best efforts and leads from the Forensic Science Laboratory, the Nehru Nagar cases have been the most high profile.
The first such one to light when the body of a five-year-old girl who had gone missing from near her residence, was found in the stairway of the eight-storey Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) in the Vatsala Tai Nagar locality in Kurla, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Nehru Nagar police station.

The body was found in a gunny bag, which was covered with blood stains of the victim. A subsequent medical examination revealed that she had been repeatedly raped and then strangulated.

Less than a month later, Nehru Nagar police were alerted that a nine-year-old girl from the Qureshi Nagar locality near Kurla station was missing. A search was launched by people from the locality and authorities too jumped into action. Police officials alerted the control room and an extensive search was carried out in Kurla and nearby areas.

The railway police were also involved and wireless alerts were sent throughout the city to look for the girl.
The biggest shock came the next day, when the body of the victim was found dumped on the terrace of the police quarters building, located right opposite the Nehru Nagar police station. This time too, the body was found stained in blood and a medical examination revealed that the victim had been raped and then strangulated to death.

Clueless chaos

Subsequently, the Nehru Nagar police picked up several people for questioning. A person identified as Mohammad Ajmeri was arrested on charges of raping and killing the minor but his DNA did not match with that found on the victim’s body. In the absence of any other strong evidence against Ajmeri, he was released on bail.
It was later discovered that the DNA found on the bodies of both the victims was the same, pointing to the fact that the same person had committed both these heinous rape and murders.

The third case of rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl took place under the jurisdiction of the same police station which created a sensitive situation in the locality. People accused the police of not being able to control law and order, and preventing such incidents from happening.

Eleven days later, the body of the third victim was found in a locked shanty in a decomposed state. Medical examination of the body revealed that she was repeatedly raped for two days and then killed.

In response to the public outrage, several hundreds of people were picked up for questioning by the police and a record number of DNA samples of around 800 people were taken. One of these samples matched with the DNA found on the body of the third victim and led to the arrest of nineteen-year-old youth Javed Shaikh who is currently in custody at the Arthur Road jail.

Stumped once more

However, the arrest did little to calm the minds of concerned parents across the city when onceagain, a three-year-old boy went missing from his residence in Kajupada in Ghatkopar.
His body was found dumped in a cabin outside the Maharashtra Navnirman Vahtuk Sena (MNVS) office near Sunderbaug Industrial Estate in Kamani, around half a kilometre from the victim’s residence.

The victim’s throat had been slit using a sharp weapon. Local police and crime branch officials questioned more than a hundred people but the case remains unsolved till date. The motive behind the murder is still unclear but old injuries were found on the victim’s private parts which points out that the victim had been sexually abused prior to his murder.

A senior police officer said, “In the Nehru Nagar cases, the only evidence that the police have is the DNA samples. So a large number of suspects are being put through DNA tests so that the accused can be nabbed. The accused had used the same modus operandi in both the cases and we are working on a few other clues which will help us close in on the accused.”

Similarly in the Ghatkopar murder case, police have no evidence or clues about the accused but it is being suspected that someone known to the victim could be involved.

Apart from these high profile cases, several other incidents of rapes of minors were reported in the city this year. If numbers continue to rise, authorities will undoubtedly be held accountable, as the city has displayed an outward refusal to stand by and watch such horrors take place.


20.12.10
Times of India


Remand homes in a pathetic state

Mumbai:Juveniles sent to childrens remand homes face overcrowding,unhygienic conditions,sexual abuse by older inmates and lack of counselors.

According to city police sources,there is a shortage of such homes across the country.Sometimes,all juveniles aged 7 to 18 are housed under a single roof,leading to sexual abuse of the younger lot.The rehabilitation of children can also take a backseat to the misappropriation of funds.

Apolice source said the Dongri childrens home has a capacity for 450 boys and 150 girls,but is overcrowded.

State DGP D Sivanandhan said,The childrens and womens welfare department is responsible for any situation at Dongri. Varsha Gaikwad,minister of state for women and child development,said,I will check out the issues.If misappropriation or illegal activities are observed,then action will be taken against the guilty.
In November,the Bombay High Court appointed professor Asha Bajpai of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences as chairperson of the Maharashtra State Co-ordination Committee.The panel will advise the government on rehabilitation of juveniles.TNN


Parental support vital during counselling


Mumbai: City-based psychiatrists say that out of 10 juvenile delinquents,an average of six are successfully counselled to return to a normal life.According to psychiatrists,to achieve this success it can take just a day,or the counseling may stretch to a week,months,a year or even two.However,to bring about a transformation,the child must get proper and careful support from the parents or guardians before and after the counselling sessions, they say.

Through counselling,psychiatrists have identified peer pressure,a desire for lavish lifestyles,too much freedom from parents and even simple curiosity as triggers for juvenile crime.The basic reason for many children below 18 coming into conflict with the law is a desire to fulfill dreams through short cuts.They take a risk without thinking of the consequences.Getting used to the availability of easy money at home can also make a child get into trouble, said city-based psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty,who has counselled over 5,000 juveniles in the city since 2005.

Hardly a decade ago,children stole a bicycle and sold it to fulfill an immediate need.As time passed,the situation changed and the younger generation has now graduated to committing thefts from neighbours,friends and even their own homes.They are pickpocketing,planning their own kidnappings and even forming gangs, said Shetty.
Shetty said that a lack of proper attention from parents can lead children down wrong paths.If the children are not made aware today,time will take them slowly and quietly,and with much anguish and bewilderment,into a confused world.So the need of the hour is to love the youth,and nurture,develop and give them strength before it is too late, said the psychiatrist.

Shetty said the term counselling has been rewritten and it is now a dialogue between the juvenile and the counsellor.If a counsellor behaves and treats the juvenile like a parent,then it is impossible for us to get in to their groove and solve their problem.It is a must for us to firstly think just like a child and gain their trust when starting the treatment, said Shetty.

In India,counsellors may use the EEG (electro-encephalogram ) brain-mapping test and psychological evaluation test to treat juveniles.According to Dr Supriya Ghase,To find out about the circumstances that leads juveniles to commit crime,they first use EEG,through which they learn about several problems,like soft neurological signs,behavioural disturbance signs,attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,etc.It helps the counsellor or medical practitioner choose which kind of therapy is best suited depending on the nature of the juvenile.

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