By Ankur Sirothia
BHOPAL: For the sixth year in a row, Madhya Pradesh wears the shameful tag of rape capital of the country. The NCRB data for 2016 shows 4,882 rape complaints across the state — that’s a shocking 13 rapes a day. And MP is second in the country in heinous crimes, trailing Uttar Pradesh by a few decimal points — 9.5 percent to 8.9 percent.
If there’s anything worse, it’s that minors make up 50 percent of these horrifying rape numbers — 2,479. Which means six children on average are raped a day. Ironically, the NCRB data was released on the same day that the Madhya Pradesh government tabled a bill in the assembly seeking death penalty for those who rape children below 12 years of age.
Reacting quickly to the NCRB report, the state crime records bureau pointed out that crime had dipped in 2016 over the previous two years. “The figure of rape cases is high because the state is registering each and every complaint and in 90 percent cases the accused were chargesheeted, which puts MP in first position in terms of disposal of cases,” said SCRB officers.
Despite the claims of the state government, the number of rapes in MP has increased since 2015 when 4,391 cases were recorded. Also, in 2016, MP had the third most gangrapes in the country (226) after Uttar Pradesh (682) and Rajasthan (366). In crime seen as a percentage of population among metros, Indore saved the blushes, coming 14th out of 19th at 2.7 percent. In rapes, MP is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 4,816 and Maharashtra with 4,189 rapes.
Age-wise, in MP, women between 18 and 30 years of age bore the brunt of rape (1,790 cases) and 1,323 survivors were between 16 and 18 years of age — the second highest in the group. In cases of assault on women, there were 8,717 cases in MP — third highest after Maharashtra (11,396) and Uttar Pradesh (11,335). Further, in kidnapping and abduction of women, there were 4904 incidents in state. It was less than state, including UP, Assam and Bihar.
In 98percent of the rapes in MP, the accused was known to the girl. Most of them were neighbors (1,115) while the remaining included grandfathers, fathers, brothers and close relatives. There were as many as 1,592 rapes with promise of marriage, again the maximum in the country. The NCRB report states cases pending trial from the previous year in MP were 61,777.
There were a total of 629 dowry deaths in MP — third in the country after UP (2,473) and Bihar (987). Overall, crime against women has increased in the state over the previous year, but it’s less than 2014 figures. The total criminal cases registered in MP stood at 26604 in 2016 — it was 28,756 in 2014 and 24,231 in 2015.
By Ankur Sirothia