Will We Now Let ‘Future Asset’ IITian Rapists Also Get Away, Like Rapists Of DBA Women Do?

The accused in the IIT Guwahati rape case is granted bail because "he is a 'talented, future asset'." What about the trauma he caused to the survivor who is also a student? Or are girl students not worthy enough?

The accused in the IIT Guwahati rape case is granted bail because “he is a ‘talented, future asset’.” What about the trauma he caused to the survivor who is also a student? Or are girl students not worthy enough?

There is no dearth of rape cases, and seems there is no end too. As the nation gets over the tragedy of one, another happens.

On March 28, 2021, an IIT-Guwahati student raped his fellow classmate and later on April 3rd he was arrested for the same offence. Earlier today, Guwahati High Court granted him bail on the grounds that he is a “future asset” of the state.

The FIR, medical report, and statements under Sections 161 and 164 CrPC, the contents of the charge-sheet, and the fact-finding committee report were all discussed by the bench led by Justice Ajit Borthakur. Following that, it was determined that there was a strong prima facie case against the defendants.

The bail order read, “However, as the investigation in the case is completed and both the informant or victim girl and the accused are the state’s future assets being talented students pursuing technical courses at the IIT, Guwahati, continuation of detention of the accused if charges are framed, may not be necessary,” order read.

Background of the case

This horrific event occurred on March 28th, amid Holi celebrations on campus. Furthermore, IIT-Guwahati released a statement saying, “On March 28, 2021, an unfortunate event involving a female student was brought to the institute’s attention.”

While the survivor was then admitted to the hospital following the rape, the accused was later suspended by IIT officials. Then the matters were sent to the High Court which issued an order establishing a fresh investigative team of three experienced officers, including a female investigator, to look into the matter.

Rape accused is a ‘future asset’

Almost every single day, we wake up to the news of various acts of violence against women, and shivers go down my spine. What do these many rape cases even imply?

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Since rape is viewed as a shameful and disgraceful thing to happen, many survivors’ families remain silent. And when, like in this case, a woman gathers the courage to fight for the case, the law allows the perpetrator bail and labels him a “future asset.”

We haven’t really recovered from the Hathras violence and the recent rape and murder of a 9 year old Dalit girl, and how the perpetrators got away with rape. Now, criminals are getting away with it because they may be a future asset to the state? Here we are talking about a man raping a woman, not about India’s got Talent. Rape is a criminal offence, no matter how ‘great’ the rapist is. How many such brutal scenarios do we have to witness?

Are survivors always safe from rapists out on bail?

The court, however, also granted the accused bail on a Rs 30,000 bond with two sureties, stating that if he is freed on bail, there is “no prospect of the accused tampering with evidence or influencing witnesses directly or indirectly.”

Remember not long ago in 2019, a rape victim in Unnao was burned alive by the accused while the accused was released on bail? And this is surely not the only such case. How can anyone guarantee that the offender in the rape case won’t tamper with evidence? Why are such perpetuators released with no stringent punishment?

If the survivor was also deemed a ‘future asset’, why should she live in fear?

The High Court stated unequivocally that “both the victim and the accused are future assets of the state.”

If the survivor was a future asset to the state, how did the high court allow the perpetrator to walk away freely? Is the talent only of men to be nurtured in this country? Or are we still so ignorant that we believe only men are future of the nation?

What about the trauma of the survivor; how is she to feel safe and get closure? Imagine – they both study in the same college, so should the survivor live in the fear of facing her perpetrators every day? What about the anxieties of being reminded of that incidence every day? Wouldn’t this affect her future at all? Isn’t this bail jeopardising the survivor’s future in order to safeguard the accused?

Even after several talented women contributing to the nation, we will never be able to shake the belief that men are the future or men are the breadwinners. In this country, slogans like “Beti Padao and Beti Bachao” are reiterated so often, yet we turn blind eye towards our women. Why are there such double standards?

Image source: by Mehaniq, Free for Canva Pro

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About the Author

Pratiksha B U

Prathiksha BU has completed her post-graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication and is pursuing Ph.D. Her areas of interest include geopolitics, law, gender studies, and film studies. As an intersectional feminist, she draws read more...

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