Even as we will be celebrating International Women's Day (IWD) on March 8, their safety will remain a serious concern in the face of rising crime against them in Himachal Pradesh.
According to data available with the state police department, as many as 1,596 cases of crime against women were registered last year up to December 2013, which is the highest ever in the state in the last decade.
Likewise, in 2012 there were 1,024 cases; 2011 saw 1,112; in 2010 - 1,145 cases; 2009 - 1,083 cases; 2007 - 1,132 cases; 2006 - 874 cases; 2005 - 874 cases, and in 2004, there were 910 cases of crime against women registered.
However, as many as 94 cases have been reported up to January 30 this year.
Similarly, 2013, recorded the highest number of the rape cases - 250, which is the highest in the last decade. In 2012, there were 183 cases of rape.
The highest number of rape cases was reported from Kangra district - 33; Shimla district registered 32 cases followed by Mandi 31, Kullu 29 and 25 each in Sirmaur and Una districts. Lahaul and Spiti reported only one case.
However, Una district topped in the cases of cruelty against the women with 57 cases followed by Kangra 53, Mandi 34, Bilaspur 32, Kullu 30, Shimla 29, Sirmaur and Hamirpur 23 each, BBN (Baddi Barotiwala Nalagarh) 20, Solan 16, Chamba 7 and Kinnaur 4 while no case of cruelty against the women was reported from Lahaul and Spiti.
The overall situation of cruelty against the women had not been better in 2013 that saw 328 cases, while 251 cases reported in 2012 and 231 in 2011.
However, 2013, saw not just the rise in the rape cases in the state, but also witnessed rise in the cases of kidnapping and abduction - 288; molestation - 493; and eve-teasing - 105 as compared to the previous year that had recorded 152 cases of kidnapping and abduction, molestation - 248, cruelty against women - 251 and eve-teasing - 63.
Of the total 493 cases of molestation, the highest 100 cases were reported from Kangra, Mandi 73, Shimla 63, Kullu 44 and Sirmaur 40,Una 34, Bilaspur 32, Chamba and Hamirpur 31 each, Solan 19 and Kinnaur 8 and no case was reported from Lahaul and Spiti.
On the brighter side, no incident of dowry death was reported in 2013, while there were two cases in 2012 and four in 2011.
Inspector general of police (CID/Crime) Satwant Atwal said crimes against the women remained a prime concern for the police department, which in order to ensure security to the women in public places would enhance foot and motorcycle patrolling.
With this objective in mind, the department had purchased 12 motorcycles, she added.
“We will increase the number of women cops to ensure safety and to create a comfort zone for the womenfolk in the state. The state government has also approved the setting up of two all-women police station in the state - one each in Shimla and Dharamsala,” Atwal added.