December 16 gangrape case made more women report sexual crimes: Delhi Police

In a city that records at least six cases of rape and ten of molestation on a daily basis, the registration of more cases of sexual crime is “a positive step”, the police insist.

delhi Updated: Jul 10, 2018 09:59 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Karn Pratap Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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A protestor holds a placard during a protest in Mumbai to mourn the death of a gangraped student in New Delhi. (AFP File )

Seventeen women in the city reported sexual crimes every day till June 15 this year, the Delhi Police data has revealed. Contrast this to just four or five such cases registered per day in the year 2012, and one can see a surge in the number over the last six years.

The Delhi Police attributes this rise to the outrage triggered by the December 16 gangrape, changes in rape laws, and a slew of measures taken by the government to project an image of zero-tolerance towards sexual crimes.

Although the number of sexual crimes such as molestation and harassment has seen a decline after 2015, cases of rape have seen a marginal increase in the last six months of this year as compared to the corresponding period in 2017.

A total of 995 rape cases were registered till June 15, as compared to 949 during the same period last year.

In a city that records at least six cases of rape and ten of molestation on a daily basis, the registration of more cases of sexual crime is “a positive step”, and not a reflection of lawlessness, the police insist.

“Lack of awareness about sexual crimes, especially among women, was the main reason why many victims did not report such crimes to the police in the past. But after the December 16 gangrape case, the Delhi Police launched several awareness campaigns about women safety. As a result, women started visiting police stations to lodge complaints,” deputy commissioner of police Madhur Verma, spokesperson of Delhi Police, said.

Data shows that molestation cases rose to 5,367 in 2015 from 727 in 2012. This decreased to 4,165 cases in 2016 and further dipped to 3,422 cases in 2017.

Social activists, however, debunked this theory. “The conviction rate in rape cases is so low that women have a huge trust deficit in the police. Look at the December 16 gangrape case, it is still on. Women are doubtful if the accused in cases of molestation and harassment would be punished at all,” Ranjana Kumari, social activist and director of the non-profit organisation, Centre for Social Research, Delhi, said.

First Published: Jul 10, 2018 09:59 IST