Mumbai: Rape incidents rise by 400 per cent in city over 5 years
While the police have time and again stated that women’s safety is a top priority, a recent study suggests that a woman is four times more at risk of rape as compared to five years ago. The NGO, Praja Foundation, yesterday released statistics that pointed to a humongous rise — nearly 400% — in rape and molestation cases in Mumbai since 2010.
mid-day accessed the study and shared it with Mumbai Police, but according to them, the rise in cases is simply an indication of growing awareness among women.
However, the conviction rate has slipped from a more or less steady 60 per cent in the 1980s to just 27 per cent last year. Once again, the police explained away the numbers citing cases with false accusations.
Starting from 2010-11, when the city had witnessed 165 cases of rape, there has been a steady increase over the years. This year, the city police recorded a whopping 643 cases of rape.
Molestation incidences, meanwhile, have risen to 347 per cent as compared to 2010-11, which saw 483 cases. This year, with a total of 1,675 cases registered, female citizens were at three times more risk of being sexually harassed.
When mid-day contacted the city’s police force, cops said that ever since the brutal gang rapes in Delhi and Mumbai’s Shakti Mills came to light, laws against sexual crimes had been strengthened. Not only were women now emboldened to come forward with complaints, many had also started taking undue advantage of the system, they said.
“In many cases, men have refused to marry the women, who then report a false case of rape, even though they had consensual sex. Due to this, we have to register the case and arrest the men. In such instances, the number of rape cases increases and the conviction rates fall, as there are neither witnesses nor evidence,” said a police officer.
Mumbai Police’s spokesperson, DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni confirmed that the force had witnessed several such cases in recent years. He also said, “There are several reasons the accused are acquitted in these cases, as sometimes the complainant or her family members back out. In some cases, the prime witnesses doesn’t come to court regularly or backs out.”