With regular rape incidents dominating the news headlines across the country, there is no safety in sight for women in India
By Priyanka Payal
New Delhi: How safe is India for women? Let us show some figures at the micro level. In July this year itself, the National Commission for Women (NCW) received 2,914 complaints of ‘crimes committed against women’. Among the states the badlands of Uttar Pradesh held pride of place, with more than half of those complaints, at 1,461. It was followed by Delhi at 338.
This category – crimes committed against women – includes domestic violence, rape, abduction, dowry deaths etc.
One has to remember that these are figures of ‘complaints,’ not of all crimes. Most cases in this country – those that are considered ‘minor’ such as molestation etc – go unreported.
The second-highest number of complaints (660), was received under the protection of women against domestic violence category.
The July figure is up from the data of the previous month. In June this year, 2,043 complaints were received by the commission.
The other months’ figures follow a pattern. They are:
- May: 1,500
- April: 800
- March: 1,347
- February: 1,424
- January: 1,462
As many as 78 complaints of rape and attempt to rape were received, while 38 complaints of sexual harassment were received in June, the data showed.
Further, according to the annual National Crime Record Bureau’s ‘Crime in India’ 2019 report released on Tuesday, UP reported the highest number of crimes against women (59,853), accounting for 14.7 per cent of such cases across the country.
This was followed by Rajasthan (41,550 cases; 10.2 per cent) and Maharashtra (37,144 cases; 9.2 per cent).
Assam reported the highest rate of crime against women at 177.8 (per lakh population), followed by Rajasthan (110.4) and Haryana (108.5).
Rajasthan reported the highest number of rapes with 5,997 cases, followed by UP (3,065) and Madhya Pradesh (2,485).
Rate of rape
In terms of rate of rape cases, Rajasthan was the highest at 15.9 (per lakh population), followed by Kerala (11.1) and Haryana (10.9). Uttar Pradesh reported the most cases against Scheduled Castes – 11,829 cases, accounting for 25.8 per cent of the cases across the country. It was followed by Rajasthan (6,794 cases; 14.8 per cent) and Bihar (6,544; 14.2 per cent).
The latest NCRB report further reveals how a woman is raped every 16 minutes in India, while a dowry death occurs every hour. The 2019 report also says that a woman becomes a victim of acid attack almost every two days, while a woman is gang-raped and murdered every 30 hours in India. A woman faces a rape attempt every two hours. The case of assault with intent to outrage a woman’s modesty is reported every six minutes.
What is more shocking, according to NCRB data, is that a woman becomes a target of trafficking every four hours.
A lot of hue and cry is being made over the alleged gang rape and murder of the 19-year old woman in Hathras. When it comes to women’s safety in India, it is a fact that the country where we supposedly worship women as Goddesses is no longer safe for women. Women’s safety has become a big issue in India. It is a shame that in India rapes take place every day. Rape is a disease which has no boundaries. From parties to workplaces to our homes, rape and harassment have become a norm.
In order to see the month wise rape cases reported this year in several states, we had a glimpse of the respective police websites. However, several states including Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal haven’t mentioned the data.
As such we could collect data only from Rajasthan and the Delhi Police websites. As per the Rajasthan police website rape cases in the state for the month of June, July and August stands at 531, 634 and 526. The Delhi police website says, that until August 15, this year, 908 rape cases and 1523 cases related to kidnapping were reported for this year.
More than three women were raped everyday in Haryana during the first six months this year, despite the Covid-19 lockdown, director general of police (DGP) Manoj Yadava told the media recently, claiming a 20.46% drop in incidents of crime against women. He said as many as 657 rape cases were reported between January and June 2020 as compared to 803 last year.
Below are the few of the horrific rape cases reported in Uttar Pradesh this year (based on various news reports):
On March, 12 this year, a 9-year old girl was found bleeding in the fields of Unnao after being brutally raped and died at LLR hospital, Kanpur. This is yet another example that proves that even kids are not safe. This was not the only case reported.
On April 17, also saw a rape case: A 23-year-old woman was raped by a ration provider who visited her house promising free ration.
On April 29, a 16-year-old was raped by her neighbour who was a 21 year-old.
On May 17, a 15- year old was raped by 2 people in Manipuri, while she had gone to a tailor shop. She returned the next day to report the incident to her parents.
In the month of June alone more than 13 confirmed rape cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh.
Reportedly, on August 6, a 6-year-old from a small village in the Hapur district of UP was subjected to physical torture and rape following which she was shifted to 3 hospitals and underwent surgery to tend to her wounds.
Three minor girls were allegedly raped and murdered in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri district within just 20 days in the month of August.
On August 14, a 13-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gang rape and strangled in the district. The teenager had gone to her fields in the afternoon and her body was found near a sugarcane field by her parents and relatives.
In another case, on August 25, a 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed with sharp weapons. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had instructed the officials to initiate strict action in the case and invoke the National Security Act (NSA) against those involved in the crime. One accused was arrested in connection with the case.
A 17-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped by two men before being burnt by cigarette butts about 300 km from Gorakhpur, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s constituency on August 17.
A minor was also allegedly raped and murdered in Uttar Pradesh’s Maharajganj district on August 30, this year. The body of the 12-year-old girl, who was missing for two days, was recovered from a forest in the Sohagi Barwa Wildlife Sanctuary. One accused in the case was arrested by the police.
Several other minor girls were raped in Uttar Pradesh in the month of August.
In September, just after the alleged Hathras rape case another case from Balrampur was reported, a 22-year-old woman died after she was allegedly gang-raped by two men on September 29 in Gesadi village of Balrampur. Both accused were arrested.
Rajasthan not far behind
Rajasthan is not far behind when we talk about the number of rape cases and the crimes against women. In the state 11 incidents of rape and sexual assault have been reported in just seven days. The state saw several instances of violent sexual crimes against women in just a week. In the number of cases of rape of women belonging to Scheduled Caste, Rajasthan topped the list with 554 cases, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 537 and Madhya Pradesh at 510 cases.
Recently, 16 cases of crimes against women in Rajasthan were reported in just three days.
Here is a list of rape incidents reported in Rajasthan in the month of September alone:
An eight-year-old tribal girl was allegedly raped and murdered in the district of Sirohi on September 25. The little girl had stepped out to take a bath when she was taken away.
On September 26, in the district of Udaipur, it was revealed that a 19-year old girl had been repeatedly raped by two youths for over than four years. The girl was too scared to report it to her family, but when one of the youths barged into the teenager’s house and assaulted her, the entire episode came to light.
A 45-year-old woman from Alwar district was raped by six men. The accused even filmed the heinous crime and posted it online. This happened on September 14.
Another woman was raped on September 28. She had gone to the SMS Hospital’s trauma centre for some work and someone stole her purse. When she returned to the hospital to search for her purse some men attacked and raped her.
A minor was raped in the Udyog Nagar Police Station area, on September 30. It was alleged that the accused even made a video of the act and sent it to his friends.
Two minor girls aged 13 and 15 years, were abducted from Baran on September 18. According to reports, the girls were taken to Kota and Jaipur by two minor boys and three others where they were raped for three days.
A woman was raped in the Ramgarh Police Station area of Ajmer, on September 29. Reports say that Tipu Sultan, a resident of her village, forcefully took her to a nearby farm and raped her.
A student of class VIII was reportedly raped by three men in Jaipur last month. The accused abducted and raped the girl while she was on her way to school.
Another such horrible crime was reported on September 24. A 5-year-old girl was assaulted in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan.
A 4-year-old was raped in Alwar by a 45-year-old man named Ramnaresh. The girl was alone at home and the accused took advantage of the situation. The incident took place on September 25.