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Home >News >India >Voyeurism and stalking highest in Mumbai, Delhi, says data

NEW DELHI : While the incidence of rapes has continued to rise in India, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2018 data also highlights the rising cases of voyeurism and stalking in the country.

According to NCRB’s latest statistics, incidents of voyeurism jumped to 1,393 cases in 2018 from 1,090 such cases in 2017, and 932 reported incidents in 2016. Maharashtra reported the highest number of cases of voyeurism at 252, followed by Madhya Pradesh with 163 cases and Kerala at 126 cases.

Among cities, Mumbai recorded the maximum number of cases of voyeurism at 47, followed by Delhi at 31 cases.

There has also been a dramatic rise in the number of cases of stalking. In 2018, a total 9,438 cases of stalking was reported compared with 8,145 such cases in 2017, and 7,190 cases in 2016.

Here too, Maharashtra reported the maximum number of cases of stalking numbering 2,088, followed by Telangana at 1,459 cases and Madhya Pradesh at 1,255 cases. Among the cities, Mumbai recorded the maximum number of cases of stalking with 513 reported cases, followed by Delhi at 410 and Kolkata at 119 cases.

In 2013, a panel, headed by former chief justice J S Verma in its report following the December 2012 gang-rape had recommended making stalking and voyeurism punishable offence, with a maximum jail term of three years. In addition, the panel had also suggested that intentional touching, using obscene language or gestures should be treated as a sexual assault offences.

Experts believe that implementation of laws which protect women remain woefully lax, and police across the country need to focus on getting to the root of the crime.

“There is no control over the availability of gadgets or people’s access to technology. Usually voyeurism is the first step then comes stalking and then it is followed by rape. More often than not, the culprit is a boy who has been chasing a girl. If we start tackling the matter right at the level of voyeurism, it can also help stop rapes," said Ranjana Kumari, social activist and director at Centre for Social Research.

Meanwhile, acid attacks on women remain a key concern. While 2016 reported 223 cases of acid attacks in the country, 2017 recorded 244 such cases. In 2018, such cases reported a marginal decline to 228 cases.

Kumari added, “Overall there is ineffective implementation of laws. If acid has been banned, why are attacks still taking place? Where are people acquiring acid? Why has there been no stringent crackdown on the sale of acid, by the police? Acid attack is as gruesome and dangerous as molestation or rape and the police should be more proactive in curbing this."

The NCRB statistics highlight the poor law and order situation in the country, with 3.78 lakh cases of crime reported against women in 2018. Uttar Pradesh recorded the maximum number of crimes against women with 59,445 cases in 2018, while Madhya Pradesh registered the highest number of rape cases at 5,450.


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