By Rajnish Singh
New Delhi, Nov 9:
The national capital records 40 cases of crimes against women every day and the highest among these are of rape, molestation and sexual harassment in public, known in local parlance as eve-teasing, official data shows. While the figures have risen over the last year, Delhi Police claim to have solved over 90 percent of the cases.
The compilation of data by Delhi Police, a copy of which is available with IANS, shows that 11,683 cases of crimes against women were registered between Jan 1 and Oct 20 against 10,064 cases registered during the same period last year – an increase of 16 percent.
Despite the furore in the wake of the Dec 16, 2012, gang- rape, there has been a record 35 percent rise with 1,794 rapes being reported this year against 1,330 last year.
Delhi saw numerous street campaigns, especially by the young, in 2012 after a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gang-raped by six people, including a minor, in a moving bus. She later died in a Singapore hospital where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.
Police statistics also show that the number of molestation and eve-teasing cases has increased as well.
Delhi recorded over 3,450 cases of molestation and 1,024 cases of eve-teasing this year as against 2,544 and 793 cases last year.
There was a reduction in domestic violence cases, with 2,370 registered this year compared to 2,457 last year.
As for kidnappings, 2,563 cases were registered this year against 2,553 cases last year.
The number of abductions and dowry deaths also rose, with 311 and 131 cases registered this year against last year’s 253 and 123 cases.
The police, however, claimed that 90 percent of the cases registered in the last nine months had been solved and the culprits arrested.
“We have been successful in solving more than 90 percent of the cases. The culprits have been put behind bars,” a police officer told IANS, speaking on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
“It’s a clear message for society and the criminals. If you don’t stop harassing and assaulting women, you will be arrested,” the officer added.
“All of Delhi’s 185 police stations have been strictly following the police commissioner’s clear message to adopt a zero tolerance policy while dealing with
cases of crimes against women. They have been instructed to register such cases soon after the victim approaches them,” the officer added.
But it seems not many feel threatened by the Delhi Police warning as crimes against women have been constantly rising over the last few years – 12,748 cases in 2013 compared to 6,050 in 2012. If the current rate of crimes persists, the figure will cross over 14,000 by the end of the year.
The police said they are not relenting and are constantly upgrading their methods and techniques to reduce crimes against women and provide a safer environment.
“There is a 24×7 women’s help desk in all the police stations to deal with women victims, apart from a separate land line to handle women-related cases. Another helpline, 1091, is functioning to provide support services to women in distress,” Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat told IANS
A special police unit for women and children is also in place in all 11 police districts to handle women-related cases while self-defence classes
are regularly held for girl students in schools and colleges, he added.
Gender sensitization programmes are also organised for the police personnel.
Under Parivartan, an intervention programme launched by Delhi Police in 2005, the aim is reduce the incidence of rape and domestic violence by 25 percent each year.
As a part of the programme, women head constables and constables of every police station visit various areas to explain how to register cases of violence against women.
“An aggressive campaign is also run on a monthly basis to target police stations where higher rape cases are registered than other police stations,” Bhagat said.
“We are in constant touch with the NGOs to solve the problems of women in distress. A nodal officer, a special commissioner of police, deals with women-related issues on a priority basis,” he said.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])