NEW DELHI

Crimes against women rise sharply, most of all in Delhi

For the first time, official crime statistics establish Delhi as the “rape capital” of the country. Even as the city has been informally referred to as such, data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that this is the first time that the numbers back Delhi’s dubious reputation.

With 18.63 reported rapes for every one lakh women, the Capital for the first time tops the country in reported rapes as a proportion of its population. In 2012, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura all had higher numbers of reported rapes relative to their populations.

Delhi experienced the biggest jump in the number of reported rapes among all States, with the number more than doubling to reach 1,636. In absolute terms, Madhya Pradesh still leads the country in reported rapes, as it has historically.

Among cities, while Delhi city has the highest number of reported rapes, Gwalior and Jabalpur (both in Madhya Pradesh) had a higher number of rapes as a proportion of their populations.

A 27 per cent increase in crimes against women propelled overall crime in India to its highest level in three years, data from the NCRB for 2013 shows. The murder rate fell slightly, while the rates of theft and robbery rose by 10 per cent and 17 per cent respectively. However, the number of reported rapes, molestation and harassment of women rose the fastest among cognisable crimes.

There were 33,707 rapes reported in 2013, or one rape reported every 15 minutes. In over 94 per cent of reported rapes, both nationally and for Delhi, the alleged perpetrator was known to the victim, the NCRB data shows.

Cruelty by husband or in-laws still makes up the largest component (38 per cent) of crimes against women, followed by molestation, kidnap and rape. Among crimes against women, the biggest increases over 2012 were in molestation cases (70,739 cases, or a 56 per cent increase) and in harassment (12,589 cases, or a 37 per cent hike).

“Following the December 16 gang-rape, there has been a near continuous media and civil society focus on crimes against women. I think this enabled many more women to report crimes than before,” Kalpana Viswanath, researcher and women’s rights activist with Jagori, told The Hindu . Delhi Police did not return repeated calls seeking a comment.

While the number of persons arrested for rape also rose substantially (35 per cent increase compared to 7.8 per cent for the previous period), the conviction rate for rape cases rose only slightly from 23 per cent to 27 per cent. Juveniles were increasingly the alleged perpetrators of crimes against women. The number of juveniles charged with rape rose by 60 per cent over 2012, and the number accused of molestation more than doubled.

While Kerala remains the State with the highest crime rate, likely on account of better reporting and police recording, Delhi is now the second-most crime-prone State ahead of Madhya Pradesh, which was at second place in 2012.



Official crime statistics establish Delhi as the “rape capital” of the country





With 18.63 reported rapes for every one lakh women, Delhi for the first time tops the country in reported rapes as a proportion of its population.