Rapists in the capital lurk behind the mask of a victim's acquaintances, including neighbours, friends and relatives. Rapes constituted 98 per cent of the crime committed by people known to the victims in Delhi in 2007.
The disturbing revelations were made by Delhi Police Commissioner YS Dadwal during his first annual press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The revelations made the city hardly a safe place for women despite the fact that there had been a marginal decline of 3.4 per cent in rape cases in 2007.
"In 98 per cent (of rape cases), the accused were known to the victims and had been interacting with the victims in normal course of life," said Dadwal.
According to the latest crime figures released by Delhi Police on Wednesday, 59 per cent rapes were committed by neighbours, 16 per cent by friends/lover of the victim, six per cent by landlords or tenants and three per cent by employer or colleagues of women.
Worse, the figures revealed that relatives preyed upon 11 per cent of the victims. They included the father or the stepfather (three per cent), brother or cousin (two per cent), ex-husband or husband (two per cent), uncle (two per cent) and in-laws (two per cent).
Dadwal said in 2007 a total of 581 rape cases were registered as against 609 in 2006.
"The decline in the number of rape cases has been 4.60 per cent. At the same time, the working out ratio of rape cases has gone up to 95.18 per cent in 2007 as compared to 93.92 per cent in 2006," Dadwal told reporters.
He said of the people arrested on rape charges in 581 cases, 340 were neighbours, 94 were friends, 62 were relatives and 17 were employer/co-workers. "Only in 10 cases, the accused were strangers to the victim."
Dadwal said no case was reported in areas of 19 police stations. Of the 132 police stations, 66 police stations reported 87 cases. This indicates that 50 per cent police stations in the capital reported 15 per cent rape cases.
On the other hand 15 police stations reported 10 or more rape cases in 2007.
"Of all the cases, 64 victims were raped in houses, five per cent in JJ clusters and 31 per cent in other places," Dadwal said.
"A study of the education profile of the accused reveals that 68 per cent were illiterate or school dropouts, 24 per cent have studied up to class 10 and 1.9 per cent were graduates. 80.1 per cent of all accused belonged to poor economic class," he added.
The police commissioner said they have been paying special attention and emphasis in the form of police patrol, mobile police team, presence of women in police control room (PCR) vehicle, deployment of police around girls' colleges and schools has been laid to check crimes against women and improve sensitivity in response to the police.
Asked about the increasing murder cases related to senior citizens in the capital in the recent past, the commissioner said: "Safety of senior citizens continues to be an area of focus. We have been reaching out to senior citizens, registered with us, both on telephone as well as made personal visits. A special help line number 1291 is available to attend distress calls from them."
"In 2007, 90 distress calls and 429 complaints were received from senior citizens and instant help was provided to them," Dadwal said.