File photo of a rally to fight for freedom and dignity of women.(HT File Photo)
File photo of a rally to fight for freedom and dignity of women.(HT File Photo)

Crimes against women up by 66% in Rajasthan in a year, shows police data

Police attribute multiple factors from rise in criminal mentality to better awareness of laws.
By Urvashi Dev Rawal | Hindustan Times, Jaipur, Jaipur
PUBLISHED ON SEP 12, 2019 10:57 AM IST

Rajasthan has seen a 66% rise in crimes against women between January and July this year as compared to the same period last year, as per the police department data.

As per the data, crimes against women have registered an overall increase of 66.78%. The total number of cases registered between January and July is 25,420 as compared to 15,242 cases registered during the corresponding period last year (2018).

If we compare cases of women atrocities registered in July 2019, the figures stands at 4,898 whereas in July 2018, the figure was 2614, the police data shows.

Between January and July 2019 period, there were 3,677 rape cases registered as against 2,587 cases lodged between January and July 2018. There were 5,329 cases of molestation from January to July 2019 as compared to 3,171 cases in the same period in 2018. There were 3,762 cases of kidnapping registered between January and July 2019 as against 2,687 lodged during the same period in 2018. Domestic violence cases also shot up during the same period from 5,884 in 2018 to 11,459 in 2019, while there were 273 cases of dowry deaths in 2019 as against 231 cases in 2018, the data shows.

Regarding disposal of the crime cases, in 8,032 of the 25,420 cases or 47.22%, police filed final reports (FRs) saying the case was found to be false after investigation. Challans were presented in 8,946 cases and 8,412 cases are pending.

However, Kavita Srivastava, Rajasthan head of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, says the police are hiding its own incompetence by filing FR (adambakku). “We refuse to accept that half the women are lying. The problem is in the police investigation and their presumption that women are lying,” she said.

Jaipur commissionerate has seen a 105.74% increase in crimes against women in the period between January and July 2019 as compared to the corresponding period in 2018, followed by Jodhpur range with an increase of 79.23% and Ajmer range with a rise of 70.86%.

The rape of a Dalit woman by six men in Alwar district became a major embarrassment for the Congress government. The issue took on a political hue after it was revealed that while the incident occurred on April 29, the FIR was lodged on May 7. The BJP alleged that the Congress had tried to suppress the incident to avert any impact in the elections. Rajasthan voted in two phases in the Lok Sabha polls on April 29 and May 6.

Another case that hit the headlines was that of a Dalit woman from Churu who claimed she was raped and tortured by policemen in Sardarshahar police station. The capital city, Jaipur, was jolted by an alleged rape victim setting herself ablaze in the Vaishali Nagar police station as she was reportedly upset with police not taking action against the accused.

With the tide of shocking crime cases not stemming, the Congress government received flak from women rights activists, the opposition BJP and the National Human Rights Commission as well as the National Commission for Women.

Police officials cite multiple reasons for the rise in crimes. BL Soni, additional director general, crime, says the criminal mentality in society has increased.

In sexual offences, the free availability of pornographic data online is a major reason, he says. Other reasons are the government’s free registration policy which has led to an increase in cases registered.

More awareness of laws among people has led them to come forward to register cases. “Earlier there was hesitation in registering cases as families were worried about their reputations. But now they are willing to come forward,” he said.

Soni says the policy of compensation to victims has also led to an increase in the cases registered. “If we pick 10 random cases, the trend is that four turn out to be false and in another two, victims turn hostile. So six of 10 cases are usually fake,” he says.

Suman Sharma, women’s commission chairperson in the BJP government, says the Congress government is insensitive to crime against women.

“An indicator of this is that the government has not bothered to form the state women’s commission. Women have no forum where they can get a hearing,” she says.

“Efficient officers have been sidelined and ineffective ones have been put in the field. There is political interference from the government,” she says.

Lad Kumari Jain, a former women’s commission chairperson, says the FRs presented by police point to shoddy investigation. “Police often do not investigate the case fairly and hold the woman to be a liar. They are denying justice to women right from the beginning,” she says.

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