With 35,497 cases, Maharashtra stood second in crimes against women across the country, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for 2018. The state had recorded 31,979 crimes against women in 2017, and 31,388 in 2016. Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 59,445 cases, a rise from 56,011 in 2017 and 49,262 in 2016.
The rate of crimes against women – number of cases reported per 1 lakh people – was 60.9 in 2018 in Maharashtra, compared to 58.8 across the country. The number of rape cases reported in the state was 2,142, involving 2,149 victims/survivors. The state reported 35 cases of kidnapping and abduction of women, involving 56 victims; 208 cases of human trafficking, involving 561 victims; 10,835 cases of assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty, involving 1,0871 victims; and 1,074 cases of insult to modesty of women, involving 1092 victims. A total of 6,862 cases involving 6,882 victims were reported under the ‘cruelty by husband or his relatives’ category. The state also saw 10 cases of miscarriage and five acid attacks.
The state recorded 6,135 cases involving 6,282 girls under the Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Act. “More complaints should be welcomed as it shows increasing awareness,” said Praveen Dixit, former director general of police, Maharashtra. “In incidents of rape, 95% of the accused are friends, family members, relatives or known persons. NGOs and citizens should come together to support rape survivors and victims of sexual assault.”
Dixit said the police should file a charge sheet in cases filed under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (outraging modesty) within 24 hours by collecting evidence and recording statement of witnesses.
“Then the judiciary will be able to take immediate action and ensure the accused is not released on bail,” he said.