Citizens, most of whom have so far believed that Mumbai is the safest place in the country for women, are shocked that the number of rapes and molestations in the city is rising.
"The figures are shocking. The government needs to take immediate measures. With women progressing in all sectors, it is the government's responsibility to ensure our safety at all places that we work or visit," said Praniti Shinde Congress MLA and founder of Jai-Jui NGO, which works for women's welfare.
Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule calls for "zero-tolerance" when it comes to such crimes against women and believes the strictest punishment possible should be handed to the accused. "People don't speak up against these issues and are reluctant to register complaints about such crimes. Empowering women by giving them more rights can only improve this situation," said Supriya Sule, NCP Member of Parliament.
The opposition, on the other hand, pointed fingers at the government for the situation. "This shows a complete failure of law and order in the state. Home Minister RR Patil is interested only in announcing catchy slogans and not on working to curb the growing crime rate. The crime against women is on the rise and it is a shame for a progressive state like ours," said Vinod Tawde, BJP Legislator.
Backing Tawde, MNS legislator Shishir Shinde said, "The government is incapable of governing the state. The effect of NCP - Congress internal dispute is seen on the administration and the performance of all departments," he said.
Neelam Gorhe, Shiv Sena spokesperson and women's right activist said that an immediate step would be for the government to bring in a more gender responsive system.
"Cases should be addressed within 24-hours and there should be support services in every hospital for victims. It should also be ensured that victims are not treated as culprits in police stations," said Gorhe.