New Delhi: The number of rapes in India shot up from 1953 to 2011 by a staggering 873 percent, the CPI-M’s “People’s Democracy” said in its latest edition released Thursday. “Sexual crimes against women have been rising alarmingly all across the country,” it said in the wake of the brutal gang-rape of a young woman in a bus in Delhi.
It said statistics compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau showed that between 1953 and 2011, the incidents of rape went up by 873 percent.
This was three times faster than all cognizable crimes put together and three-and-a-half times faster than murder. And between 2007 and 2011, rape incidents increased by 9.7 percent.
The People’s Democracy quoted the “Guardian” newspaper as saying: “Of all the G-20 nations, India has been labelled the worst place to be a woman.”
In a survey conducted by Thomson Reuters’ Trust Law Women, a hub of information and support for women’s rights, India ranked with Afghanistan, Congo and Somalia as one of the most dangerous places for women.
Amongst the metros, it said Delhi topped the list of incidents of rape.
From 2007 and 2011, Delhi saw 2,620 rape cases. Comparatively, Mumbai had 1,033, Bangalore 383, Chennai 293 and Kolkata 200 cases.
Worse, it said, “is the fact that in three of the four cases of rape, the culprits went unpunished between 2002 and 2011 in Delhi”.
Of the 5,337 rape cases in the last decade, in 3,860 the culprits were either acquitted or discharged by courts for lack of “proper” evidence.
The conviction rate for the country as a whole, on the average, between 2001 and 2010, in rape cases was 26 percent only. “Far from fearing a deterrent punishment, the criminals are not afraid of the law any longer, it appears, because of such abysmal record of delivery of justice in the country.
Home secretary R.K. Singh did concede a few months ago that it was time to stop talking about law and order and start talking about delivery of justice.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist demanded the early passage of the Bill for the Prevention of Sexual Assault in the Workplace, fast track courts to ensure speedy justice in rape and cases of sexual harassment and domestic violence, and a time-bound action plan by states to deal with pending cases of crimes against women.