New Delhi: Delhi has earned the dubious distinction being a city unsafe for women. Now comes another shocker. Among India's 53 mega-cities, the national capital is the most unsafe for children as crimes against children have reportedly gone up exponentially all over the country.
On an average, crimes against 16 children are reported in Delhi everyday, official data has revealed. The capital is followed by Mumbai, where crimes are committed against three children daily. Srinagar is the city safest for children, as per available data.
According to comprehensive data from the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) for 2013, Delhi registered the maximum cases of crimes against children at 6,124, while Mumbai reported 902 cases.
Ranchi and Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), and Asansol (West Bengal) did not witness a single crime against a children in the entire year.
Jammu and Kashmir capital Srinagar recorded only one such case.
All across the country, crimes against children went up by 52.5 percent in a year. A total of 58,224 cases were registered in 2013 compared to 38,172 cases in 2012.
Of the total crimes, 54.2 percent cases were related to kidnapping and abduction of children, 51.3 percent to trafficking of girls, 49.3 percent to abetment to suicide while 44.7 percent cases were related to rapes.
Among the states, Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 9,857 cases of crimes against children, while Maharashtra was on the second spot with 8,247 cases.
The lowest number of cases were reported from Nagaland (8) followed by Daman and Diu along with Dadra and Nagar Haveli each with 14 cases, Sikkim (39) and Puducherry (47).
Sanjay Gupta, director of Chetna, an NGO that works for the rights of children, feels the rapid increase in the capital's migrant population has led to the increase in crimes against children.
"There has been rapid growth in Delhi's population compared to other cities due to an increase in the migrant or unskilled workforce coming from other states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Rajasthan," Gupta told IANS.
"This is a vulnerable section and cases of rapes and general crimes against children are witnessed the most among them," he added.
Delhi Police officers said these issues can be reported at the Delhi Police Juvenile Justice Unit.
"We have taken this initiative to create awareness in society about issues of children protection. The objective is to create an aware society that responds to the needs of children in various situations," an officer told IANS.
"The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 came into force in November 2012 for the protection of children. The Act defines all types of sexual abuses against children. The punishment ranges from simple to rigorous imprisonment of varying periods. There is also a provision for a fine, which is to be decided by the court," he added.