Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rape cases increase steadily, but conviction remains low as ever



Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: Rape has been on a steady rise in Mumbai over the last 11 years. From 128 in 2002, rape cases rose to 231 in 2012, an 80% increase. This year, 89 women, including 46 minors, were raped till March. 


    Also, while the detection rate is good—about 95% in the last two years, for instance—the conviction rate is abysmal: only one in five suspects arrested is punished. In all, 1,631 women and girls were raped from January 1, 2002 to March 31, 2012. While 2,072 people were arrested, only 346 were punished.
 

    Some cases stand out. Constable Chandrakant Pawar of the Sahar police station, who was given 15 years in jail for raping an underage rag picker, was acquitted by the Bombay high court in 2001. Some police stations are worse than the others. The D B Marg police, which registered 46 rapes and arrested 91 people in the period concerned, could secure conviction only in two cases. Sometimes the punishment given causes surprise. In a Juhu case, the convict was fined only Rs 3,000.
 

    The police are loath to even release data. RTI activist Chetan Kothari, who got the 11-year information, had to make several rounds of police stations. “It is not easy to get statistical details from the police. They are reluctant. It took me three months to get the data.”
 

    After the Nirbhaya rape case earlier in the year in New Delhi, the Mumbai police announced to start counselling centres for women all over the city, including Ghatkopar, Dadar, Bandra and Chembur. The centres, which were to tell women how to be safe, are yet to start.


The Times of India, August 24, 2013

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