Published: Friday, Dec 28, 2012, 4:40 IST
By Dhaval Kulkarni | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
At least 14 women per lakh population have faced atrocities like rape, molestation and sexual harassment in Maharashtra.
“While the average rate of crimes against women per lakh population in India is 18.9, in Maharashtra it is 14,” said an official from the state home department. This figure is less than a few developed countries.
Of the 24,206 rapes registered across the country in 2011, Maharashtra accounted for 1,701 cases or 7%. And, of the 2.28 lakh crimes committed against women in India, 15,728 were in Maharashtra (6.87%). The state ranks sixth in terms of percentage share.
There is a silver lining — a steady decline in crimes against women. As per the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) figures, Maharashtra’s share in the atrocities against women in the country was 7.4% in 2009, 7% in 2010 and 6.87% in 2011, said the official.
Quoting the NCRB figures, an official said that Maharashtra accounted for 3.93% of the 8,618 dowry deaths in 2011, down from the previous year’s 4.7%. Maharashtra, with 339 such incidents, ranked 17th in the country.
But social activists contested the figures. “The attitude of the police…is to register cognisable offences as non-cognisable ones and stay away from registering non-cognisable offences. Hence, though crimes against women seem low on paper, the ground reality is different,” claimed activist Vardha Deshpande.
In 2011, rapes accounted for 1% of the total Indian Penal Code crimes in India. However, while the country’s rate for filing charge-sheets in rape cases is 93.8%, the conviction rate is a low 26.4%. The conviction rate for other crimes against women was also a measly 26.9%.
State home minister RR Patil said they will request the high court to keep 25 of the 100 fast-track courts in Maharashtra exclusively try crimes against women.
After recruiting 17,500 women in the police force in the last five years, the state government plans to recruit 20,000 more. The government has mooted for death sentence in rape cases and also recommended that offences, such as eve-teasing and molestation, be made non-bailable.