‘Digital rape’ was recognised in 2013 after the infamous Nirabhaya rape case. Before 2013, India didn’t have any law that provided justice to the victims of ‘digital rape’
Noida: In perhaps the first-of-its-kind conviction in a rather less known sexual offence under the POCSO Act as well as IPC Section 375, the Surajpur District and Sessions court Tuesday awarded life imprisonment to a 65-year-old man for committing ‘digital rape’ of a three-and-a-half-year-old girl child at Salarpur village under Sector 39 Noida police station limits.
‘Digital rape’ was recognised in 2013 after the infamous Nirabhaya rape case. Later, it was also added in the new rape laws under a separate section of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act. Before 2013, India didn’t have any law that provided justice to the victims of ‘digital rape’.
The convicted was identified as Akbar Ali, native of a West Bengal village, who had come to visit his married daughter in Salarpur of Noida’s Sector 45. The victim was the daughter of a neighbour.
Public prosecutor Nitin Bishnoi told Firstpost that an FIR was lodged against Ali on the basis of statement of minor girl’s parents in 2019.
As per the complaint, Ali lured the minor girl who lived in the neighbourhood on the pretext of getting her a candy and took her to his house where he digitally raped her.
Scared of his behaviour, the victim came back home crying and told her mother bit by bit what the accused did to her.
“The parents and other neighbours immediately went to the police station and filed a written complaint against the accused following which a medical examination of the victim was conducted which confirmed rape,” the public prosecutor said, adding that the arrest followed later the same day.
Ali has been in district jail ever since. “He even appealed for an interim bail in sessions as well as the high court, however, the pleas were quashed,” he said.
On Tuesday, the court of district and sessions judge Anil Kumar Singh pronounced Ali to life in prison on the basis of circumstantial evidence, medical report, and eight testimonies: doctor, investigating officer, her parents and neighbours.
“He has also been slapped with a fine of Rs 50,000,” Bishnoi said.
What is digital rape?
‘Digital rape’ is not a sexual offence committed digitally or virtually, as the term might suggest, but refers to the act of forceful penetration using fingers or toes without consent.
The word ‘digit’ in the English language dictionary means finger, thumb and toe, which is why the act has been called ‘digital rape’.
Until December 2012, ‘digital rape’ was considered as molestation and was not considered rape. It was after the Nirbhaya gang-rape incident that new rape laws were introduced in the parliament and the act was classified as a sexual offence under Section 375 and Protection of Children from Sexual offenses (POCSO) Act.
Just a fortnight ago a 50-year old man named Manoj Lala was arrested for digitally raping a seven-month-old girl child under the Noida Phase-3 police station area.
In June, 2022, a father was accused of digitally raping his five-year-old kid in a high-rise society in Noida Extension. An FIR was lodged on the basis of the mother’s complaint that alleged that she realised the offense after the girl complained of genital pain.
In the same month, a case of digital rape of a three-year-old girl of an Income Tax officer came to light at a play school in Greno West. The accused in this case is still to be identified, police officials told Firstpost.
Earlier, in 2021, an 80-year-old artist-cum-teacher was accused of digitally raping a girl for seven years. The man, identified as Maurice Ryder, has been accused of being involved in various indecent acts with the victim. She complained when she turned 17.