#NewsBytesExplainer: What's digital rape for which Noida man is convicted?
In a first-of-its-kind conviction, a 65-year-old man in Noida was convicted for 'digital rape' this week. The Surajpur Sessions Court convicted him for digitally raping a three-year-old girl at the Salarpur village in Noida Sector 29 two years ago. The act is classified as a sexual offense under IPC Section 375 (rape) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act.
Why does this story matter?
Months after the heinous rape of Nirbhaya in Delhi, the government recognized digital rape as a sexual offense and included it as a crime under India's rape laws in 2013. Before the incident, the crime was viewed as an act of molestation and was not given the legal purview of rape. Rape laws passed by the Parliament thereafter recognized its new definition.
Here are more details about the development
Akbar Ali, a resident of Malda, West Bengal, was awarded life imprisonment on Tuesday for committing a heinous act on his neighbour's daughter. Based on medical evidence and eight testimonies, Ali was charged under the POCSO Act, and IPC Section 375 and Section 376. While on a visit to his married daughter's home in Noida in 2019, Ali digitally raped a three-year-old child.
What happened in 2019?
In January 2019, Ali lured his neighbour's daughter on the pretext of giving her candies. He then took her inside his empty house and digitally raped her. After the child went back home crying, her parents filed a complaint against the 65-year-old, FirstPost reported. "Following the complaint, a medical examination of the victim was conducted which later confirmed rape," public prosecutor Nitin Bishnoi said.
What is digital rape?
Unlike the name, the crime does not refer to virtual or online rape. Instead, it refers to the act of forcefully penetrating someone using their 'digits' i.e. fingers, thumbs, or toes. As mentioned, digital rape was not considered rape until the incident in 2012. The term was reportedly coined in 2013 to provide justice to young girls and women.
Other cases of digital rape in India
Earlier this month, Manoj Lala, a 50-year-old from Noida, was arrested for digitally raping a seven-month-old girl child. In another case, a father from Noida was accused of digitally raping his five-year-old child in June 2022, and was nabbed after her mother's FIR. In 2021, an 80-year-old artist was accused of digitally raping a girl for seven years.
Here are some statistics of rape in India
According to the Crime In India 2021 report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) this week, India registered over 31,000 cases of rape. Delhi registered 1,250 cases of rape while Haryana about 1700, and Uttar Pradesh registered 2,845 cases of rape in 2021. According to Legal Service India, in 29% of the rapes, the perpetrator knows the survivor.Share this timeline