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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rape is fastest growing crime in the country


New Delhi: Rape is a notoriously under-reported crime, thanks to its social stigma and because the culprits in most of the cases are known to the victim. Yet, of all the major crimes, the incidence of rape has registered the highest growth in the country in the last four decades. 

    If there's one big issue raised by Nirbhaya's tragedy, it 
is the high incidence of rape and a low conviction rate for the crime, often caused by a long-winded and lethargic legal process. So, while the current focus is on protests against the bus rape, we can't move our attention from the really big issue arising from it—how to curb the incidence of rape in the country. 
    According to the National Crime Records Bureau, the number of rape cases registered in India has increased by 
873.3%—from 2,487 in 1971 to 24,206 in 2011. In comparison, murder cases have risen 250% from 1953 to 2011. 
Times View 
Nirbhaya's agony will be in vain if we don't focus on the bigger issues raised by it. The biggest, it seems, is that rape is on the rise in India and only a few get punished for the crime. So, the top-most task is to improve the conviction rate through better investigation and to ensure speedier justice so that rapists know they will be punished sooner than later. Many states have a far worse track record than Delhi in crimes against women. There must be fast-track courts in all states. The government must earmark the necessary financial and manpower resources for these courts and announce a time schedule for setting them up. The here and now must not divert our attention from the lasting solutions. 
Fast-track courts must for rape cases 
New Delhi: According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the number of rape cases in India has gone up 873.3% from 1971. Symptomatic of the traditional neglect suffered by rape is the absence of statistics for the crime in the 1950s and 1960s. 
    The NCRB started collecting data on rape only from 1971. 
    This, despite the fact that the conviction rate for rape at the national level is lower than the average of 11 "violent crimes" (28%). While the conviction rate for murder in 2011 was 38.5%, it was substantially lower at 26.4% for rape in the same year. 

    Since delays are one of the main factors affecting the conviction rate, the appointment of five fast-track courts for rape cases in Delhi, in the wake of the public outrage over the Nirbhaya case, is a long overdue measure. 
    Such priority treatment is 
required to be given in the rest of the country too, although 
equally serious crimes 
against women in outlying areas typically get less media attention. 
    Delhi has earned the odium of the "rape capital" with an incidence of 572 rape cases 
in 2011. But in the same year, it was Madhya Pradesh that reported the highest number of cases for rape (3,406), molestation (6,665) and import of girls (45), accounting for 14.1%, 15.5% and 56.3% of the respective national totals. 
    And when it comes to sex
ual harassment or "eveteasing", 
Andhra Pradesh reported 3,658 cases, accounting for 
42.7% of the total number booked in the country. Uttar Pradesh has the dubious distinction of topping the states in dowry deaths as its 2,322 cases accounted for 26.9% ofthe national tally. 
    After Madhya Pradesh (3,406), the states that reported the highest incidence of rape cases in 2011 were West Bengal (2,363), Uttar Pradesh (2,042), Rajasthan (1,800), Maharashtra (1,701), Assam (1,700) and Andhra Pradesh (1,442). 
    In keeping with a long-established pattern, offenders were known to the victims in 92.9% of the rape cases booked across the country (22,549 out of 24,270). 
    Among the 53 mega cities surveyed by the NCRB for all crimes against women, including rape, Delhi accounted for 13.3% (4,489), followed by Bengaluru 5.6% (1,890) and Hyderabad 5.5% (1,860).


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