'Fewer crimes against women'

Will plain statistics reassure the women in the city at a time when their safety, or the lack of it, is being debated in every gali, chawl and TV studio? Probably not, but Mumbai police commissioner Dr Satyapal Singh was certainly not going to shy away from giving his department a pat on the back at a time like this, especially when the numbers seemed to be in his favour, even though marginally. According to the top cop, crimes against women have certainly declined in Mumbai as compared to last year.

“In view of the prevailing environment we have taken a lot of measures by constituting a special squad for the safety of women, which has been apportioned to each and every police station,” Singh said. While 1,569 cases of crimes against women were registered in 2011 (January-December), 1,457 were lodged in 2012 (January-December 16).

He added, “If a student outside any college is caught red-handed in a case of outraging the modesty of a woman, the offender is immediately taken into custody. Meanwhile, his parents are also informed about their child’s doings.” More than 100 offenders have been arrested this year, who under the influence of drugs or alcohol were involved in ‘outraging the modesty’ of women.

“Special helpline numbers have been provided to people, ie 100 and 103, on which 15% of the calls received are in relation to felonies against women,” said Singh. Currently, Mumbai ranks 48th for crimes against women in the country.

When asked what optimum step should be taken in order to stop, or greatly reduce, offences against women, he said, “Simply handing out harsh punishments to criminals won’t help. People in our society have to change their mentality by respecting their opposite genders.

As per other statistics, 219 rape cases were registered in 2011, of which 13 victims were sexually assaulted by unknown persons, 35 were raped on the pretext of marriage and six were abused by family members or close relatives. As compared to this, 213 rapes have been recorded this year – 12 women were raped by unknown persons, 63 were violated on the pretext of marriage, and eight were sexually assaulted by close friends. 174 cases of kidnapping of women were recorded in 2011, as compared to 136 this year. Last year, 556 case of outraging the modesty of women were registered to this year’s 515.

Cops filed 177 cases of eve-teasing in 2011; this year the number went up to 183. 287 dowry-related cases were recorded in 2011, which is 25 more than the 262 cases lodged in 2012.  

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