In the latest report of ‘NCRB’ (National Crime Records Bureau), once again a worrying picture of increasing crimes against women has emerged. According to this report, 4,45,256 cases of criminal incidents against women were registered in the year 2022, whereas this figure was 4,28,278 in 2021 and 3,71,503 in 2020. These cases of criminal incidents against women are about four percent more than in 2021. It is clear from the data that no matter how much the government claims about women empowerment, the reality is that there has been no improvement in the cases of crimes against women. Crimes against women have increased the most in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, while Delhi has reported the highest rate of crimes against women. In comparison to other states, maximum number of FIRs have been registered in cases of crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh.
Delhi leads among 19 metros in crimes against women for the third consecutive year. All political parties declare in elections that after coming to power they will ensure the safety of women at every level, but the reality is far from this. ‘NCRB’ data on crimes against women clearly shows that women do not feel comfortable and safe anywhere. There is hardly any state in the country where crimes against women have not increased. The irony is that in most cases of crime against women, it is the husband, lover, relative or any other close person who turns out to be the accused. These cases include 31.4 percent cruelty to women by their husbands or relatives, 19.2 percent kidnapping, 18.7 percent attempted rape and 7.1 percent rape. According to the report, a total of 31,516 cases of rape were registered in the country, out of which maximum 5399 cases were registered in Rajasthan, 3690 cases were registered in Uttar Pradesh, 3029 Madhya Pradesh, 2904 Maharashtra and 1787 cases were registered in Haryana. The country’s capital Delhi is at the forefront in terms of crimes against women, where 14247 cases of crimes against women were registered in 2022.
While Delhi and Rajasthan are the most unsafe states for women, Uttar Pradesh is on the first place and Bihar is on the second place in the number of people taking lives for dowry. 2138 women were murdered for dowry in Uttar Pradesh and 1057 in Bihar, while 518 women were murdered in Madhya Pradesh, 451 in Rajasthan and 131 in Delhi. According to ‘NCRB’, the rate of crime against women per one lakh population increased from 64.5 percent in 2021 to 66 percent in 2022, out of which a total of 48,755 cases of crime against women were registered in 19 metros during 2022. This is 12.3 percent more than the 43,414 cases of 2021. Now the biggest question regarding the increasing crimes against women is that despite all the claims, promises and slogans, why are such crimes not being controlled in the country? How worrying is the situation that in the Indian culture where women are worshiped as goddesses, women are not safe even at home. The situation is quite pathetic in terms of loss of lives due to domestic violence at the hands of family members, dowry deaths, honor killings, rape and cohabitation. It is a great irony that women do not feel completely safe neither in the family, nor in the neighborhood, nor in the outside environment.
If we look at the figures of the ‘National Commission for Women’, a total of 20,693 complaints of crimes against women were received till September 19, 2023, which is likely to increase by the end of this year. In the year 2022, the Commission had received 30,957 complaints, which was the highest since 2014. In the year 2014, 30,906 complaints of crimes against women were received and in 2021, more than 30 thousand complaints were received. The commission registered complaints in a total of 24 categories like acid attack, cyber crime against women, dowry death, sexual exploitation and rape. Most of the complaints filed were related to the right to live with dignity, followed by domestic violence, dowry harassment, ill-treatment of women, eve-teasing and rape. After the ‘Nirbhaya incident’ in Delhi, the way the laws were tightened to curb crimes against women, it seemed that sensitivity would increase in the society and the morale of anti-social elements involved in such acts would be weakened, but hardly any day such a thing happens. How much time passes when cases of crimes related to violence against women do not come to light. In most of such cases, the irresponsible attitude of the police administration is also seen. It is certainly a result of the indifference of law and order and police administration that those who commit crimes against women rarely show any fear.
Despite strictness in laws, various steps being taken in the name of women’s safety and increasing sensitivity in the society regarding the self-esteem of half the world, what are the reasons that there are cases of rape, molestation, violation of dignity or even kidnapping, cruelty, half Is the series of crimes against the world not stopping? Despite strict laws, expected action is not taken against anti-social elements. It is clear that crimes against women will not be curbed by merely tightening the laws. For this, it is necessary that governments streamline the administrative machinery and ensure its accountability. The kind of role played by the police-administration in such cases is largely responsible for this. In many such cases, the police has been harassing the victims to add insult to injury, such examples have often come to the fore. In view of such circumstances, how will fear of police and law be created in the minds of criminals and how will crimes against women reduce?
– Yogesh Kumar Goyal
The author is a senior journalist continuously active in journalism for 33 years.