More than a month after Al Jazeera published an investigative report on rape videos being sold in the markets of Uttar Pradesh in India, little has been done to stop the flourishing trade in the violent and explicit videos.
The country’s Supreme Court has taken notice of the case after a letter directed to the Chief Justice of India by Prajwala, an anti-trafficking NGO, sought action to cease the circulation of the videos.
The court has been pressing the government to come up with a solution in the form of concrete action, such as introducing a new law to prevent the trade in rape videos.
“As of now, there is no law exclusively meant to govern the circulation of rape videos, but existing laws under IPC [Indian Penal Code] and cyber laws are efficient to ensure that circulation of any pornographic material without the consent of the woman visible in the video does not take plac,” said Vrinda Grover, a prominent women’s rights lawyer in India.
“What is important is that existing laws are implemented properly and police acts in accordance with them, rather than introducing a new law all together,” she said.
According to sources on the ground, the trade still persists and the videos, which show women and sometimes girls being raped by groups of men, are still available in kiosks located in western parts of Uttar Pradesh province in northern India.
This comes after assurances from the authorities that every possible step is being taken to stop the sale of the videos and to arrest the perpetrators, many of whom are visible in the videos.
Shortly after Al Jazeera published the initial report, Uttar Pradesh police tweeted that it was referring the matter to Meerut police