Assam records highest rate of crime against women for 4th year
Assam recorded the highest rate of crime against women in the country for the fourth consecutive year, reveal National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures for 2020.
Released on Tuesday, Crime in India 2020 report shows that the rate of crime against women in Assam was 154.3, way higher than the national rate of 56.5. Odisha came second with 112.9 and Delhi came third with 106.4.
The rate is calculated as the number of crimes recorded per 100,000 population. In 2017, the rate of crime against women in Assam was 143.3, it was 166 for 2018 and in 2019 the figure was 177. So Uttar Pradesh, which registered the most cases of crime against women at 49,385 against Assam’s 26,532, still recorded a crime rate of only 45.1. Assam’s number of crime cases against women was 30,025 in 2019 and 27,687 in 2018.
In 2020, Assam recorded 26 instances of rape-cum-murder/gang rape—the third highest figure in the country after Uttar Pradesh (31) and Madhya Pradesh (27). It recorded 1,658 cases of rape last year. There were 4,642 cases of assault with intention of outraging modesty.
“The figures could also indicate that unlike states where such crimes are not registered promptly, in Assam, survivors reach out to police,” said a senior police officer requesting anonymity.
While Uttar Pradesh topped in the crime rate for dowry deaths at 2.1, there has been an increase in such cases in Assam as well. The state recorded 150 dowry deaths in 2020 and four cases of acid attack on women. “The figures are worrying. We never recorded such a high number of dowry deaths earlier. The rate of crime against women in Assam could be very high as sometimes women tend to file false cases of cruelty against their husbands and in-laws. It could also be that more women are reporting crimes than those in other states,” said Chikimiki Talukdar, chairperson, Assam State Commission for Women.
Of the total cases of crime against women registered in Assam last year, 11,408 were of cruelty by husband or his relatives. The state also recorded 1,496 cases under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act of which 1,049 were of rape, 322 of sexual assault and 120 of sexual harassment.
“Last year, the rate of crime against women in Assam could have been higher due to the Covid-19 lockdown. People were stuck in their homes for days and they could have attacked their spouses or other women,” said Polly Vauquline, head of department of women’s studies in Gauhati University.
(With inputs from Amitoj Singh Kalsi)