Not enough being done to address violence: activists

Say crime against women becoming an issue for rhetoric

December 01, 2017 02:00 am | Updated 02:00 am IST - NEW DELHI

New Delhi, 20/03/2017: Social activist Ranjana Kumari in New Delhi. 
Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

New Delhi, 20/03/2017: Social activist Ranjana Kumari in New Delhi. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

While the number of crimes against women reported in Delhi last year was once again high, not enough had been done by the authorities to address the problem, activists said on Thursday.

The Capital recorded the highest number of cases of crimes against women amongst all States, Union Territories and metropolitan cities, and accounted for 33% of all such cases reported in 19 metropolitan cities, the National Crime Records Bureau’s Crime in India 2016 report said.

The report, which was released by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday, showed that the total number of cases of crimes against women came down from 17,222 in 2015 to 15,310 in 2016.

Beyond numbers

Kavita Krishnan, the secretary of the All-India Progressive Women’s Association, said there was a need to go beyond numbers and comparison.

“There needs to be an acknowledgement that the level of violence is very high. But, spending on infrastructure like shelter homes and rape crisis cells is very poor. Violence against women becomes an issue for rhetoric and political posturing,” Ms. Krishnan said.

She added that the accountability of the State to “put its money where its mouth is” was very poor.

Apart from funding, the lack of proper implementation of laws was another concern, according to Ranjana Kumari, the director of the Centre for Social Research, which works with police forces by carrying out gender sensitisation programmes.

‘Police under-staffed’

“There is a failure of implementation. The Home Ministry is responsible for not equipping the police better when it comes to dealing with crimes against women. In Delhi, the police are under-staffed and only 9% of the force is women,” said Dr. Kumari.

She added that the guidelines set after the Nirbhaya gang-rape case in 2012 were not being followed.

“Despite so much research on last-mile connectivity and dark spots, there are so many infrastructure issues and spots of crime in the city are allowed to grow,” she said.

‘Shameful data’

Reacting to the NCRB report, Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal hit out against the Centre.

“Not surprised. Delhi tops in crimes against women in #NCRB. Stats only further drive home constant insecurity women feel in NCR. Sad even this shameful data will fail 2 move system. If only Union Home Minister called a High Level Meet on women safety while releasing NCRB report!,” she tweeted.

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