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Friday, June 14, 2013

105 of 232 rape victims in city were aged 14 to 18

Mumbai 2nd Only To Delhi In Number Of Rapes In 2012. Growing Urbanization, More Reporting Of Incidents Cited For Rise In Cases

    The city saw a huge 45% rise in sexual harassment cases in 2012, even as incidents of rape and sexual assault also grew, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau released this week. There were 235 cases of sexual harassment in 2012 as compared to 162 in 2011. The rise from 2010 to 2011 was much lower at 17.4%.
    While rape cases in Mumbai rose at a slower rate of 5% in 2012, the 232 cases put the city second nationally, behind only Delhi, which saw 585 cases. In Maharashtra, Pune also made its way into the hall of shame, recording the sixth most rapes among cities nationally.
    Both at the Mumbai and state level, most rape victims were aged 14 to 18. Of the 232 victims in Mumbai, around 105 (45%) were from this age group, while at the state level the figure was 609 of 1,294 victims (47%). Shockingly, 11 victims in Mumbai were under 10. The all-India data showed a 11% rise in sexual assault cases in Mumbai, from 553 in 2011 to 614 in 2012.
    Like Mumbai, in Maharashtra too there was a huge jump in sexual harassment cases, from 1,071 in 2011 to 1,294 in 2012. This 21% increase contrasted with the 9.2% drop in 2011. There were also 8.1% more rapes and 3.6% more sexual assaults in 2012 in the state.
    Law enforcers, however, claimed the city was behaving itself, at least compared to previous years. In their defence, they said the rise in rapes and sexual assaults the previous year was higher, 14% and 16.4%
respectively. The rise in sexual harassment comes as no surprise in a city that saw the deaths of Reuben Fernandez and Keenan Santos in 2011 for protesting against the harassment of women.
    IPS officer-turned-lawyer Y P Singh blamed growing urbanization for the rise in crime. Additional commissioner of police (crime) Niket Kaushik said more people are comeing

forward to complain and FIRs are being lodged promptly.
    Nandita Shah, of NGO Akshara, agreed more women are complaining. "Delhi's Nirbhaya incident took away some element of shame women found themselves surrounded with when harassed," she said. She echoed Singh's view that rapid urbanization can lead to unfulfilled aspirations.

Times View: A second position Mumbai could do without
N othing has changed, certainly not for the better, for Maharashtra and Mumbai. Being the second-most dangerous place for women is one distinction that Mumbai, routinely touted as the safest Indian city for women, can do without; ditto for Maharashtra, which remains the second-most crime-prone state in the country. Small changes can make a big difference. And it should start from the police station; these offices should become much more peoplefriendly and criminal-unfriendly. The NCRB statistics should come as a wake-up call for our police force and the state home department.


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