The government should ensure that the police publish ‘action taken’ reports of crimes against women regularly, K. Neela, Janawadi Mahila Sanghatane vice-president, said, in Bidar on Saturday.

She was speaking at the first district conference of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). “Rise in crimes against women is due to failure of the policing system. In just two years, there have been 27 rapes in Bidar district alone. Can the police announce how many offenders have been arrested or punished?” she asked.

She demanded that the police release a report on action taken in all the rape cases in the district, along with the annual crime figures. “This will hold the police accountable,” she said. She urged the government to protect the witnesses in sexual assault cases.

The State government should monitor whether the social justice committees at the zilla and gram panchayats are working properly. These committees are supposed to see if there have any atrocities on Dalits and Adivasis in their jurisdiction. “But these committees don’t hold regular meetings,” she said.

She pointed out that the low sex ratio was also among the reasons for the rising crimes against women. “The lesser the number of women in society, the more unsafe it is for them,” she said. This can be checked by stopping selective abortions, she said. If only pre-natal sex determination committees at the district worked properly, this country would not have had such a skewed sex ratio, Ms. Neela said.

She said that the government was responsible for the safety of women and had to put in place a strong mechanism that ensured that sexual offenders were brought to justice. She demanded action against police officials who refused to register rape cases. She also sought action against politicians and others who try to hush up cases of sexual assault.

“Rapes are very different from other crimes. A rape makes the victim all through her life,” she said.

She said that JMS will organise a rally in protest against rise in crimes against women in Bidar in the second week of January. The main aim of this rally would be to demand justice to the five-year-old rape victim from Saigaon in Bhalki.

She criticised RSS leader Mohan Bhagawat for stating rapes occurred only in urban area. This only showed that he did not understand India, she said.