Mandi reports maximum 162 rapes in Himachal over past three years
Himachal Pradesh has reported 1,134 rape cases, including 43 gangrapes, in the past three-and-a-half years with Mandi district recording the maximum 162 rape cases in the state during the duration.
According to a reply filed by the home department during the ongoing monsoon session of the assembly, 249 rape cases were registered in the state in 2017, while 344 cases were registered in 2018 and 358 cases in 2019. This year, over 183 cases of rape have been reported till July 31.
Mandi district, the home turf of chief minister Jai Ram Thakur and second largest district in terms of population, recorded 162 rape cases in three years.
Shimla was at the second spot with 159 rape cases, followed by Sirmaur with 149 cases.
Kangra, the largest district in terms of population, witnessed 148 rape cases, while and Solan recorded 138 cases, including 51 in Baddi police district.
Tribal Lahaul-Spiti district reported only two rape cases in three years.
Chargesheets were filed in the court in 925 of the total cases and only 30 accused were convicted. The conviction rate remains a mere 3.25%.
More crimes being reported: Mandi SP
When contacted, Mandi superintendent of police (SP) Shalini Agnihotri said the high number of rape cases recorded in the district is an indication that more people are coming forward to report crimes against women in the district.
Asha Thakur of the Himachal Defence Women Welfare Association, a non-government organisation, said decline in cultural values, drug abuse and unemployment may be some of the reasons behind the rise in such crimes. “However, this is not the trend confined to Mandi alone but also in the rest of the state and the country,” she said.
She said that setting up of fast track courts and prompt punishment may act as a deterrent and bring down the heinous crime against women.
Police reworks strategy
Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh police department has introduced a new strategy to curb the crime against women in the state.
From August 1, Himachal Pradesh Police started maintaining a register on offenders of crime against women and children.
“Data of all criminals involved in crimes against women is being prepared and shared with all police stations to track them,” said director general of police (DGP) Sanjay Kundu.