The state recorded most crimes against children in India in 2015 (13,921), according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
The cases include 207 murders, 2,231 cases of rape, sexual harassment of girl child (1,043), assault or use of criminal force to girl child with intent to disrobe (77), voyeurism (12), stalking (422), others (914), insult to modesty of girls children (91), kidnapping and abduction (5,337), kidnapping and abduction in order to murder (5), kidnapping for ransom (8), kidnapping and abduction of women to compel her marriage (945), among others.
Maharashtra was followed by Madhya Pradesh (12,859), Uttar Pradesh (11,420), Delhi Union territory (9,489) and West Bengal (4,963).
“There is no foolproof mechanism to take care of basic problems of streetchildren, but the situation is improving. There is an increase in instances pertaining to sexual abuse against children and rapes,” said Farida Lambay, co-founder, Pratham NGO, working for child protection and education, adding that a change in societal mindset is needed.
“We have a weak rehabilitation scheme and conviction rate for crimes against children,” said Lambay. The problem is compounded because of the low conviction rates in court.
Police sources said they ensure cases of crimes against minor are registered.
“We are conducting sensitisation programmes, wherein officers and constables are imparted lessons on dealing with such cases,” said a police officer, on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The topics include gender and violence, protocol for handling cases of violence against women and children, information on Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and police response to violence against marginalised women (sex workers, women with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual women).