Women activists and girls feel it is high time that Madhya Pradesh brings out a list of sex offenders as NCRB data show on an average 13 women were raped every day in 2014.
Madhya Pradesh has gained notoriety in the last few years when it comes to crime against women.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report for the year 2014, MP reported the maximum of 5.076 rape cases. The state also tops the list when it comes to sexual offences with 15,170 cases registered last year.
These numbers, the women activists claim, are much higher as many cases go unreported. Incidentally, on Tuesday, the Rajya Sabha passed a bill allowing harsher punishments for juveniles aged 16-18 in heinous cases.
HT spoke to officials, activists and women to present their views on Union minister Maneka Gandhi’s seeking opinion on Twitter whether India should have a national registry of sexual offenders.
“We have requested the authorities several times to push various parties and departments to prepare a list of sex offenders. But till now, nothing has been done in this regard. It is good that a debate on this issue is being started at the national level,” says Prarthana Mishra, an activist from NGO ‘Sangini’.
After the juvenile convict in the December 16 Delhi gang rape case was released, many felt India needed to reform its laws related to sexual offences. Last Friday, Maneka Gandhi had tweeted seeking people’s opinion on the need to create a ‘National Registry of Sex Offenders’.
She had also pitched this idea to the law ministry earlier this month, stressing there should be a mandatory registration of sex offenders by local police so that these anti-socials remained under surveillance.
“It is extremely important for Madhya Pradesh to have a list prepared for sexual offenders as soon as possible as our state has the most cases of sexual offences. If not identified, these criminals will keep on committing such crimes without even getting arrested,” says Vrinda Gupta, a college student.
Initiatives such as woman patrolling assistance ‘Nirbhaya Patrolling Mobile Service’ may have been launched but no directives have been issued for preparing a list of sexual offenders till date, the activists claim.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (women’s cell) Mevaram Mourya concedes no such list has been prepared by the police till now.
“The administration has not given any order (to compile data and bring out a list) yet. If we get the orders, we will do it,” Mourya says.