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Shame: Rape is India’s fastest growing crime

And it’s only getting worse. Recently released Govt data show 18 women become victims of crime every hour. Jatin Gandhi gives details.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2008 11:31 IST
Jatin Gandhi
Jatin Gandhi
Hindustan Times

Rape is the fastest growing crime in the country, shows government data, even as reports of sexual crimes, including those against foreign tourists, continue to pour in from across India.

The latest crime statistics, pertaining to 2006, released by the Home Ministry’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show that every hour 18 women become victims of crime. The number of rapes a day has increased nearly 700 per cent since 1971 — when such cases were first recorded by NCRB. It has grown from seven cases a day to 53.

The figure grew 5.5 per cent over the number of cases registered in 2005.

In comparison, all other crimes have grown by 300 per cent since 1953 when the NCRB started keeping records.

And these are just the cases that have been reported; the number of unreported cases is far higher.

There have been at least a dozen cases of molestation and rape of foreign tourists in the first couple of weeks of 2008. The latest was reported on Saturday — a British woman alleged that she was raped in Panaji. Worried over the sexual assaults on tourists, which has the potential to damage the tourism industry as well as the country’s image, the Centre has convened a meeting on January 24 with state governments to review their safety and security.

According to NCRB figures, among 35 cities with a population of more than a million, Delhi topped the list of crimes against women with 4,134 cases (nearly one-fifth of the total crimes against women). One-third of the rapes and a fifth of the molestations took place in the city. Hyderabad was second most dangerous for women with 1,755 cases.

Among the states, Andhra Pradesh had the highest number of crimes committed against women — 21,484 cases or 13 per cent of the total cases in 2006. Uttar Pradesh was a close second, with 9.9 per cent of such crimes. Madhya Pradesh reported the highest number of rape cases, at 2,900, and also molestation cases.

Records reveal that 7,618 women were killed for dowry in 2006, an increase of 12.2 per cent over 2005. Uttar Pradesh with 1,798 cases had the highest number of such deaths, followed by Bihar with 1,188 cases.