New Delhi: In a grim reminder of how unsafe Indian cities are for women and children, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) ranks Uttar Pradesh as most unsafe for women, while listing Madhya Pradesh as the rape capital.
The statistics highlight the poor law and order situation in the country with 3.59 lakh cases of crime reported against women in 2017. Uttar Pradesh recorded the maximum number of crimes against women with 56,011 cases in 2017, while Madhya Pradesh registered the highest number of rape cases at 5562.
The 2017 Unnao rape case in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Uttar Pradesh rocked the country with party legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar chargesheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case last month.
Uttar Pradesh was followed by Maharashtra with 31,979 cases and West Bengal 30,002 cases.
Interestingly, Delhi, which came to be known as the rape capital after the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case, saw a decline in crime against women for the third straight year, with 13,076 FIRs being registered in 2017, down from 15,310 in 2016 and 17,222 in 2015.
The definition of ‘crime against women’ includes murder, rape, dowry death, suicide abetment, acid attack, cruelty against women and kidnapping, according to the report.
In 2016, 3.38 lakh cases of crime were registered against women, while 3.2 lakh cases were recorded in 2015.
In 2016, Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of crimes against women. While the state recorded 14.5% of the total cases of crimes against women, it accounted for 12.4% of the total number of rape cases, second only to Madhya Pradesh, which recorded 12.5%.
In 2017, Madhya Pradesh registered maximum number of rape cases at 5562, 97.5% of which were committed by known persons. Rajasthan followed next with 3,305 cases out of which 87.9% of the perpetrators were known to the victim. In Maharashtra, 98.1% rape cases were against friends, associates or relatives.
As many as 32,559 rapes were reported in India in 2017 and the accused were known to the victims in 93.1% of the cases, according to the report. As many as 16,591 rape cases were reported against family friends, employers, neighbours or other known persons and in 10,553 cases, the accused were friends, online friends, live-in partners or separated husbands of the victims, the report highlights.
Experts said the rising figures and the fact that as compared to 2016, UP and MP remained the most unsafe for women, were due to more cases being registered, with families sidestepping the social stigma around rape and bringing the matter to the notice of the police.
“The definition of rape now has a broader ambit and cases are now being openly reported in the rural and urban areas because families are now overlooking the social stigma that women and their families face. For families it has now become more important to report the case and bring the culprit to book," said Rashmi Singh, former director of National Mission for Empowerment of Women.
Majority of cases under crimes against women were registered under “cruelty by husband or his relatives" at 27.9%, followed by “assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty" at 21.7%, “kidnapping and abduction of women" at 20.5% and “rape" accounting for only 7.0%.
While the “crime rate" is defined as “offences registered per one lakh people", Assam recorded the highest crime rate of 143 in the country in 2017. Odisha and Telangana came in second, recording a crime rate of 94 each, followed by Haryana at 88 and Rajasthan at 73.
Eight states -- Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura -- registered the lowest figures of “crimes against women", while among the Union Territories, Chandigarh registered 453 cases, followed by 132 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 147 in Puducherry, 26 in Daman and Diu, 20 in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and six in Lakshadweep.
In percentage terms, major crime heads under ‘crime against children’ during 2017 were kidnapping and abduction (42.0%) and 25.3% cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, including child rape.
Among the cities, however, Delhi at 35%, ranked the highest in crimes against children recording 6844 reported crimes against children in 2017, as opposed to 7392 in 2016 and 8035 in 2015. Coming a close second was Mumbai, recording 3790 cases in 2017, up from 3400 in 2016 and 3187 in 2015.