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Western region least safe for women

mumbai Updated: Dec 26, 2011 01:21 IST
Nikhil M Ghanekar

The city’s western region is dotted with swanky and upscale areas such as Bandra, Khar, Santacruz and Oshiwara. So it comes as a shock that it is also the most unsafe region for women in the city, according to an analysis of figures released by the Mumbai police.

On December 18, HT published a news report highlighting that crimes against women in the city had risen substantially in 2011, as compared to last year. The report, based on statistics from the police, raised a question mark on Mumbai’s ‘safe city’ tag — a myth that was also busted by findings of the HT-Akshara survey, for which 4,225 women across the city were interviewed. The survey, conducted in November, revealed that 95 % women interviewed had been sexually harassed or assaulted. 99% considered sexual harassment to be the foremost personal safety risk in public spaces.

Going a step further, we analysed statistics provided by the police, to see which regions were the least safe for women. According to the results, till November 30, police had registered 47 cases of rape (under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code), 145 cases of molestation (Section 354) and 66 cases of eve teasing or street sexual violence (Section 509) in the western region – which tops the list.

The city is divided into five regions — north, south, east, west and central – by the police. These five regions are further divided into 13 police zones.

The western region comprises 21 police stations, including Amboli, where two youngsters — Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes — were murdered when they objected to some men harassing their women friends.

The northern region, which includes Goregaon, Malad Kandivli, Borivli, Dahisar and the other areas, had the second highest number of cases regarding crime against women. The 15 police stations in the region recorded 43 cases of rape, 114 of molestation and 33 of street sexual violence, till November 30.

In the same time period, the eastern region recorded a total 175 cases of crime against women while the figure in the central region stood at 149.

The south region, which includes Colaba, Cuffe Parade and Malabar Hill, emerged as the least unsafe, with 30 cases of rape, 45 cases of molestation, and 17 relating to street sexual violence being registered.

Since 2010, there has been a 17.54% rise in the number of rape cases, 10% rise in molestation cases and 12% rise in eve teasing cases registered across the city.

Compared to 2010,the sharpest rise in rape cases, was recorded in the eastern region (37.83%). The northern region recorded the highest rise (83%) in the number of molestation cases along with a maximum rise (60%) in eve teasing cases.