Sunday, December 07, 2008

AP Tops in Crimes Against Women

By M H Ahssan

At a time when Andhra Pradesh, and Hyderabad in particular, is drawing hundreds of women software professionals from all over the country, the state has earned the dubious distinction for crimes against the fair sex.

The latest statistics of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2007 reveals a telling tale of increasing crimes against women in the state, much more than any other part of the country. Of the 1,85,312 crimes against women in the entire country in 2007, 24,738 cases, or 13.3 percent, were reported from Andhra Pradesh.

Even more disturbing is the statistics pertaining to Hyderabad and its outskirts. A comparison of crimes against women in 35 cities across the country shows that Hyderabad stands second, next only to Delhi. While 4,331 cases (17.5 per cent) were registered in Delhi, Hyderabad came second with 1,931 cases (7.8 per cent). Vijayawada topped in the number of eve-teasing cases by accounting for 11.3 per cent of the total cases in the country.

“If the police is strict in dealing with the offenders, things would not have come to such a pass. One of the reasons why there are more crimes against women is that law enforcers do not deal with the offenders firmly,” says G Sucharitha, joint director, gender programming, Centre for World Solidarity.

Interestingly, Andhra Pradesh, which has 7.2 per cent of the country’s population, has reported 13.3 per cent of cases of crimes against women while Uttar Pradesh, which has 16.6 per cent of the country’s population, reported 11.3 per cent or 20,993 cases. According to NCRB figures, crimes against women in general in the country have been increasing every year. In 2003, there were 1,40,601 cases, in 2004 1,54,333 cases, in 2005 1,55,553 cases and in 2006 there were 1,64,765 cases.

Another disturbing trend is that the rate of crime has increased against women. While the overall, rate of crimes against women increased marginally from 14.7 per cent in 2006 to 16.3 per cent in 2007, for Andhra Pradesh in particular, it has been bad.

The crime rate against women increased by 30.3 in Andhra Pradesh, which is almost that of Tripura at 30.7 per cent which is at the top. “Women in Andhra Pradesh feel unsafe because the government is also not sincere in ensuring their protection,” said women’s rights activist Noorjehan Siddiqui.

What is also alarming is the number of torture cases in the state. Of the 75,930 cases registered in the country under section 498A IPC (dowry harassment), as many as 11,335 cases (14.9%) are from Andhra Pradesh. Only Tripura is slightly ahead with 15.7 per cent.

“There are two reasons why such cases are more in AP. There is an insatiable desire for dowry here. Even people who go abroad demand dowry,” an IG in the CID said.

That is not all. AP with 3,316 cases has the most number of sexual harassment cases in the country. This is 30.3 per cent of the total number of cases. Even in cases pertaining to the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, in Andhra Pradesh, the most number of cases have been registered. In all, 1005 cases were registered, which is 83.8 per cent of cases registered in the entire country.

No comments: