Rape cases doubled, molestation rose 6 times since Dec 16
The number of rape cases this year is highest in the last 13 years, but Delhi police has attributed it to greater awareness and registering of cases which otherwise would have gone unreported.December 16 Coverage Updated: Dec 11, 2015 15:24 IST
Under severe attack after the December 16 gang rape, Delhi police took a slew of steps like setting up helplines and women help desks at police stations to ensure women's safety but there is no let up in the crimes against them which have actually increased during the period.
The number of rape cases this year is highest in the last 13 years, but Delhi police has attributed it to greater awareness and registering of cases which otherwise would have gone unreported.
According to Delhi police data, a total of 1,493 cases of rape were registered in the national capital till November 30 which is more than double the number of cases registered in the same period in 2012.
What is more alarming is that the number of cases of molestation has registered a five-fold increase as till November 2013, a total of 3,237 such cases were registered as against 625 last year. Cases related to outraging the modesty of women, that includes eve-teasing and stalking, also show a similar trend with the figure skyrocketing to 852 from last year's 165.
As per data of National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), in 2012, a total of 706 rape cases were registered while in 2011, the numbers of registered rape cases were 572, as against 507 rape cases reported in 2010.
The figure stood at 469 in 2009. In 2008, the figure was 466, while in 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 the figures were 598, 623, 658, 551, 490, 403 and 381 respectively.
However, Delhi police terms it as a good sign that now more cases are being registered which mean that more women are coming forward and reporting the crimes which probably was not the case earlier.
According to a senior police official, "The rise in the number of reported cases means that now women are coming forward and reporting such incidents. Earlier, a number of cases went unreported as women were afraid of contacting police and also the social stigma which came with it.
"Today, complaints are recorded verbatim and FIRs are filed simply on the basis of women's complaint without raising any issue. This has caused significant rise in the number of registered cases but we are not deterred by it," he said.
Police have set up women help desks at police stations functional round-the-clock, increased lines of police helpline '100' from 60 to 100 and were registering cases anywhere in the capital without bothering about jurisdiction.
A 'Crime Against Women' Cell has been established for redressal of complaints and grievances of women in distress. Four women's helplines are currently operative and one Women's Post Mail is functional dealing exclusively with complaints from women. An all-women police mobile team has been made functional round-the-clock.
Women officers are now primarily investigating rape cases. Orders have been issued to ensure immediate registration of FIRs in cases of crime against women and efforts are made to file charge sheet against the accused within three months.
Patrolling has been increased, especially at night and on routes taken by BPO vehicles ferrying women. The number of PCR vans has also been increased. Currently, around 850 PCR vans are patrolling streets of the national capital and they are a vital cog in ensuring women's security, according to Delhi Police.
They have been deployed outside girls' schools and women's colleges. 24-hour police cover has also been ensured around entertainment hubs like malls and cinema halls with heightened vigil from 8pm to 1am. A woman can also dial 100 and get dropped home at night by a PCR van if she is stranded somewhere.
The police also involved the community to ensure women's security and self-defence training was provided to hundreds of women.
A 'Parivartan' scheme was also launched in order to create awareness in schools, localities and police stations, sending women police personnel to patrol neighboring areas. Women groups were encouraged to form a monitoring system in their vicinity.
The reforms even caught the eye of the French government which is grappling with women's security issues back home. A delegation consisting of their minister for Women's Rights and the French Ambassador met Delhi police officials in October to study the measures taken by it to deal with the menace.
The police may argue that so much has been done in the last one year but the national capital has always been termed unsafe for women and even statistics support this as only one out of ten women here go out to work.
According to Primary Census Abstract 2011, the number of working women in the National Capital Territory (NCT) stands at a mere 10.58% which is even lower then states like Jharkhand and Bihar, which are considered 'bimaru'.
And the obvious reason why an average Delhi woman is scared to step out and work is that she and her family is not sure whether she will be safe on the roads, in the public transport bus or when she walks back home from the bus stop to her house on a deserted lane which is not properly lit.
"My friends in Mumbai can go out at 12 in the night but here you don't feel comfortable if you are alone on the road even at 7pm. Frequency of DTC buses is always wayward and the connectivity is horrible.
"After 8, auto-rickshaw drivers either totally refuse to go to some localities or take hefty charges forcing us to share a ride with drunken men and hooligans in Grameen Seva vehicles," said 25-year-old Nitisha Agnihotri who works at an airline company at Connaught Place and commutes everyday from Nangloi.