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Crimes against children: Uttarakhand fares the worst among Himalayan states

The mountain state, with 676 such registered cases is followed by Himachal Pradesh (467) at the second place.

dehradun Updated: Dec 02, 2017 20:46 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times
National Crime Records Bureau,Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,Uttarakhand news
Uttarakhand police headquarters in Dehradun. (HT Photp)

The largely peaceful Uttarakhand has emerged as a state with the highest number of crimes against children among the Himalayan states.

The mountain state, with 676 such registered cases is followed by Himachal Pradesh (467) at the second place, while Nagaland (78 cases) has emerged as the most child friendly among the 10 Himalayan states (see box).

From 489 cases in 2014 and 635 in 2015, the number of crimes against children in Uttarakhand has seen a steady rise. The latest figure of 676, thereby, shows an increase of around 38% in such crimes over the past two years, as per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2016 report released by the Union home ministry earlier this week.

Nationally, the hill state has been ranked 20th among 36 states and union territories in terms of incidence of crimes against children.

A break-up of the nature of crime against children shows 436 cases of kidnapping and abduction were reported followed by 218 lodged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), as per the report.

“This goes on to reflect how offenders are not afraid of the administration and the law enforcement agencies. The state government needs to take vigorous and proactive measures to prevent our children from falling prey to crimes,” Yogendra Khanduri, chairperson of the Uttarakhand state commission for protection of child rights, said, calling for a stringent state-level policy in this regard.

Incidentally, crimes against women, too, witnessed a surge in the state last year. From 1,413 such cases in 2014, and 1,465 the following year, Uttarakhand went on to report 1,588 cases of crime against women in 2016.

Police officials, however, claimed that the trend only reflected the growing awareness in public. “Crimes were already happening, but they were not being reported as the desired sensitivity was not there (for reporting cases of crimes against children and women) due to social pressure and lack of awareness. We are encouraging maximum people to come forward to report the crimes, only then will the criminals be caught...this (high number of cases reported) is in fact a relief for us,” Ashok Kumar, additional director general of police (DGP), law and order, of Uttarakhand, told HT.

First Published: Dec 02, 2017 20:41 IST