The National Crime Report Bureau recently published a report about crimes against women in the year 2015. Maharashtra topped the list of cases reported under the Indian Penal Code crimes related to sexual offenses last year.
Hindustan Times reported the numbers to be, “a total of 16,989 cases have been reported in the state under crimes such as rape (4,144), attempt to commit rape (13), assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty (11,713) and insult to modesty of women (1,119). The state has contributed to 13% of cases in the country.”
Indian Express also reported that NCRB data shows that of the 4,144 rape cases registered in the state, 974 were of rape under the pretext of marriage.
When we talk about Maharashtra, most of the people think of Mumbai first, while it is a safe city, numbers like this are stressful for women who travel late for work and depend on public transportation.
“I’m always on the move and often on weekends when I’m coming back from a movie or a friend’s place, I take a cab thinking it’s safe. And it has been till now at least. But the numbers in the report are alarming! When you think of Mumbai you always think of how safe it is for women”, says Geeta Dsouza, a working profession who lives in South Bombay.
Kanika Sharma, who works in an advertising agency and is a Bombay resident, says, “I feel privileged that I have my own vehicle that I can take everywhere I have to travel. I’m not saying everyone needs to travel alone, but this news has definitely creeped in doubts and uneasiness. Mumbai does not mean whole of Maharashtra, there are several other cities and villages that are not as liberal as the capital.”
The report also gives numbers of other cities like Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal that also have a high number of cases of crimes against women. Uttar Pradesh reported 35,527 cases in 2015, or 10.9 per cent of the total such crimes in India. It was followed by West Bengal with 33,218 cases, or 10.1 per cent of the total crimes against women in the country. (report by newindianexpress.com) An area of major concern is the high number of incidents of stalking in a city like Delhi, and the NCRB numbers show the gravity of the situation.
We expect dialogues of feminism, equality to change the status of the country, but looking at the numbers, I’m starting to wonder how that can happen?
Feature Image Credit: meri-k.org