Many of the smaller urban centres have recorded a higher incidence of rape cases compared to the metros in 2012, according to official statistics. And when it comes to the larger states, Madhya Pradesh tops the list, though parts of the North East have witnessed a higher rate of the crime.

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It is Jabalpur that heads the list of key urban centres with the highest crime rate in terms of rape in the country during 2012, and Mumbai, which has grabbed national attention in recent days following the rape of a photojournalist there, comes second among the large cities.

Among 50 odd urban centres, the ones that come at the top of the list are Durg with a rate of 13.5, Bhopal 12.7, Indore 12.04, Raipur 11.76 and Gwalior 11.69, apart from Jabalpur (14.39), going by the crime statistics for 2012 compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau. Toward the bottom of the list are Kolkata and some other smaller cities.

Overall, about 25,000 rape cases were reported in the country, with a crime rate of 4.26.

The Bureau, in the report released in June 2013, also says that crime rates against women, including rape, have been assessed taking the female population into consideration. Certain calculations have been done on the basis of the provisional population estimates of the census of 2011 in the absence of projected census figures. Crime rates are usually calculated on a per lakh population basis.

Among the larger cities, Delhi with a rate of 7.72 comes at the top of the list, followed by Mumbai 2.72, Bengaluru 2.22, Chennai 2.18 and Hyderabad 1.97.

In terms of the number of cases for all urban centres, Delhi recorded the maximum number of rape cases, 585, followed by Mumbai 232, Jaipur 134, Indore 125 and Bhopal 114. Among the larger cities, Chennai recorded 94 cases, Bengaluru 90, Hyderabad 74 and Kolkata 68.

The states

As far as states are concerned it is Mizoram that has a crime rate much higher than the rest of the country - 20.81, compared to 12.77 for Tripura, which comes next. While some other states in the North East also come at the top of the table, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Delhi too have relatively high rates. Gujarat, Bihar, Nagaland, and Uttar Pradesh come towards the bottom of the list.

In terms of the number of cases, Madhya Pradesh tops the list with 3,425 rape cases. It is followed by Rajasthan with 2,049 cases, West Bengal 2,046, Uttar Pradesh 1,963 and Maharashtra 1,839.

How does the incidence of rape compare with the overall pattern of crime against women in the country? The report has highlighted that West Bengal accounted for 12.7 per cent of total cases of crime against women in the country (30,942 out of 2,44,270). Assam reported the highest crime rate (89.5) as against the national average rate of 41.7.

Apart from accounting for 13.7 per cent of rape cases in the country, Madhya Pradesh has reported the largest number of cases in certain other categories as well: assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty (6,655) and importation of girls from foreign country (59), which account for 14.6 per cent and 10.1 per cent respectively of the total number of such cases country-wide.