While stating that nearly three-quarters of alleged rapes this year were committed on the pretext of marriage, Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria said on Wednesday the increase in registration of rape and molestation cases indicated an increased awareness among citizens.
“If a girl comes along with her family and reports a case of rape or molestation, it clearly shows that there is an increased awareness in people,” Maria told Hindustan Times.
On October 31, HT had reported that in the first nine months of 2013, 284 cases of rape were registered in various police stations of the city. The corresponding nine months of this year has seen 468 cases of rape being registered, an increase of nearly 60%.
“A study on the cases of rape conducted by the police till October this year has revealed that 71.9% of rapes were committed on the pretext of marriage, 12.5% were committed by neighbours known to the victim, 4.97% were committed by relatives, 6.7% by the victim’s father or an immediate sibling and only 6% rapes were committed by unknown people,” said Maria.
Cases involving outraging modesty of women, too, have increased in the city, once deemed one of the safer metros.
There were 1,163 complaints where women were either molested or harassed in 2013, while 1,462 complaints have been registered in the corresponding period this year.
Maria’s comments a day after Praja Foundation released a white paper, which stated that the cases of rape recorded from April 2013 to March 2014 are 47% higher, compared with the corresponding period in 2012-13.
Also, molestation cases have gone up by 52% compared with the earlier financial year. According to the data, 432 cases of rape, 1,209 cases of molestation and 1,269 chain-snatching cases were registered between April 2013 and March 2014.
Maria said the police were conducting sensitisation programmes for its staff, apart from creating helpdesks at police stations to ensure that more cases of crimes against women are registered. “You cannot ask police officials why rape or molestation is increasing. The question has to be addressed by society,” said Maria.
The commissioner stated that in the cases of rapes committed by unknown persons, all the cases, except one of a Wadala TT, wherein a minor girl was raped last month, were solved. “A review of Wadala TT case has been taken and we are hopeful to solve that case as well,” Maria said.