This year, the eastern zone came under the spotlight when three young girls went missing from Nehru Nagar, in quick succession. All three girls were found raped and murdered. Data released by the Mumbai police and analysed by HT shows a steep rise in crime against women in the eastern region. Figures for rape, especially, have increased every year since 2008. Quaiser Khalid, additional police commissioner, east region, talks about the disturbing trend and the perception that police are not taking these crimes seriously.
Why has there been a rise in crimes against women in the east region?
Increase in the slum population is the main reason why there has been an increase in the number of cases of crime against women. Also, women have become aware and are more prompt in filing police complaints.
What measures have the police taken to curb crimes against women?
In the past one year, we have been profiling and collecting data on the people who live in slum pockets. We are gathering information about every individual regarding the nature of his work, income, his whereabouts and his contacts. This will help us detect criminals in every locality. Drug addiction among slum dwellers is another reason why crimes against women are remain high. We have started camps with the help of NGOs, local doctors, religious leaders, and chemists to rehabilitate drug addicts. We have also increased the number of women constables in the region so women to feel comfortable sharing information.
Activists allege that the police do not take crimes against women seriously. Please comment.
That is not true. Once a case is registered we give complete attention to it. It depends on the gravity of the crime. I do agree that we need to sensitise our staff and train them to empathise towards such cases.
Activists and residents have alleged that the police is uncooperative while filling a FIR or registering a case?
I do not agree with that. Often, women are reluctant to divulge information. They do not want to go ahead with a FIR. Crimes against women are of a different nature. There are emotions involved in it and so women want quick and speedy justice. We have to see which IPC section the offender is booked under. If it is a bailable offence, we have to release the offender. It is not fair to blame the police.