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Author Topic: Destroyed By The Media, And Then Ignored: Victims Of False Rape Accusations  (Read 325 times)

gursharn

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Destroyed By The Media, And Then Ignored: Victims Of False Rape Accusations

SWARAJYA by DEEPIKA

A ‘hapless’ woman in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, tries to file a gang rape case, and is turned away by the police, forcing her to seek help from a court. She files a private complaint with the court, but instead of taking action on her complaint, the police officer in charge of the case demands sexual favours from her. She records her conversation with him and submits a CD as proof to higher police officials.

So far, a perfect case for a media storm, and it indeed becomes one.

“Rape victim asked for sexual favour by police”, headlines scream out loud, shaking up the entire police administration in Uttar Pradesh. In the backdrop of the government setting up anti-romeo squads, where police is out on streets to nab the stalkers and protect women, the case comes as a huge blow to the credibility of the police force, dubbing protectors as predators.

Media houses question the sensitivity of the government towards crime against women and the credibility of its police force. Front-page coverage of case follows; story goes viral with international media picking it up almost immediately, adding one more case to dub India as the rape capital of the world.

Daily Mail Online tweeted not one but several times on the story drawing angry reactions from the world over.

    Rape victim 'is told she has to have sex with a police officer if she wants her attackers arrested' in India https://t.co/pIt6qDL5qx
    — Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) June 22, 2017

    Cop in India told rape victim to 'have sex with him' if she wanted attackers arrested https://t.co/WpsgCqTKz8
    — Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) June 22, 2017

As the outrage was building up, with news channels ready to capture the next big development, the unexpected happens – the case turns out to be false. The alleged rape survivor, a con, had framed the cop because he was about to file a final report in a false gang rape case filed by her!

Unlike the usual cold response of police to false rape cases, this time officers from UP Police, who are active on social media, provided details of the conspiracy and confirmed that the woman had been arrested on charges of cheating and lodging a false case. The official Twitter handle of the UP Police reached out to media organisations, and asked them to report on actual facts of the case.

    #Rampur update ~ रेप केस झूठा पाये जाने पर महिला ने नाराज़ होकर दरोग़ा के ख़िलाफ़ भी लगाये अश्लीलता के झूठे आरोप। साज़िशकर्ता के साथ गयी जेल pic.twitter.com/2rRhuz60ZU
    — UP POLICE (@Uppolice) June 24, 2017

But now, there was an eerie silence. One could see only few regional papers following up on the story. No debates, discussions, thorough investigations or detailing of the conspiracy by the woman, or what the officer falsely accused of the crime went through. The truth behing the story of how a protector became a predator that reached millions in India and abroad now reached only a few thousands. This is a pattern I have observed for the last several years while working on false accusations of dowry, molestation, rape, sexual harassment against men.


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