NEW DELHI: India’s top court Tuesday ordered the government to explain what it was doing to prevent rape at state-run children’s homes as horrific details emerge of sex abuse rings.
Narendra Modi’s political opponents also seized on the scandals at two government-run facilities, accusing the prime minister of keeping quiet about India’s record of rape.
Police are investigating the sexual assault of dozens of girls at the shelters in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The states are governed in coalition or outright by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, hearing a plea into the Bihar case, admonished the Modi government’s record in tackling rape.
“Every six hours, a woman is raped in India,” declared a three-judge bench in New Delhi.
“What is to be done? Girls and women are getting raped left, right and centre.”
The Delhi Commission for Women Monday announced a committee to audit all government shelters across the national capital.
Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday attacked Modi over the issue, saying the prime minister was vocal on all subjects “but not women”.
“Women are being raped in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and so many other states but the prime minister is quiet,” the main opposition leader told supporters in Delhi.
India’s treatment of women has attracted global scrutiny since the gang-rape and murder of a young student on a New Delhi bus in 2012 made international headlines.
Her brutal murder sparked nationwide protests and led to tougher sentences for perpetrators.
But sex crimes remain rampant and activists say women are reluctant to come forward, meaning the real figure for rapes is much higher than recorded.
Indians took to the streets in April in numbers not seen in years after details emerged of the rape and murder of a Muslim infant and the separate assault on a teenager by a BJP state lawmaker.