January 13, 2012


Times of India

2011 saw an increase of rape in Mumbai

An analysis of rape offences registered by the Mumbai Police last year has shown that in 94 % cases the perpetrators were known to the victim. There has been an increase in rape cases registered , from 192 cases in 2010 to 219 cases in 2011.

But, overall crime decreased by 4% in the city.

Senior officials said the fact that only 5% cases were committed by strangers last year showed that the city's streets were not as mean.

"Of the 219 cases of rape registered last year, six were committed by parents (mostly victim's father ) or close family members, nine by relatives, 26 by neighbours, 65 by men making false promises of marriage and 100 by known persons," joint commissioner (crime ) Himanshu Roy said. "Only 13 cases involved complete strangers."

The Amboli molestation case, where Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandez were murdered when they tried to protect their female friends from harassment in October last year, drew strong reactions from across the globe. Police commissioner Arup Patnaik said the safety of women was their top priority and was taken very seriously. "A special squad to curb eve-teasing was started in the west region following the Amboli incident, and they have made hundreds of detentions," he added.

Women's rights activists pointed out that targeting young women in public places has drastically increased. "When penal action isn't taken against a criminal, it only emboldens him. Take the case of a 14-year-old from Borivli who was abducted and raped for 34 days by two men before she was rescued in mid-November last year. Two days before she was kidnapped, the girl had lodged a complaint with the police, alleging molestation by the duo. But instead of taking strict action, the police booked the two men under lighter, non-cognizable sections and let them off with a warning," said Sonya Gill of the All India Democratic Women's Organization.

Nandita Gandhi, co-director of the NGO Akshara, said, "If the population is high in a place, such as in buses, the danger of sexual harassment or violence goes up. This holds true even if the population is totally sparse." Akshara had conducted a survey among college girls, who had reported a high degree of harassment.

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