Panchkula continues to have high rate of crime against women with Sectors 5,14 and 20 leading the chart. About hundred cases were registered last year at various police stations of the district,under five categories of crime against women. These cases are lodged under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for murder,Section 304B for deaths due to dowry demand,Section 498A for dowry demand and cruelty by husbands and relatives,Section 376 for rape and Section 354 for assault to modesty of a woman or molestation.
According to police records,maximum cases have been registered for dowry deaths. There were 70 cases in 2009,96 cases in 2010 and 77 cases in 2011.
While Sector 5 had maximum cases in 2009 and 2010,Sector 14 was in the lead last year. Raipur Rani and Mansa Devi Complex,however,have very few registered cases of crime against women in the past three years.
The large number of dowry death cases are followed by rape cases. However,the number of complaints had shown a decline from 18 in 2009 to 8 in 2010. It rose again,however,to 16 reports in 2011.
Though most categories show a decline in reports from 2009 to 2010 which increased again in 2011,dowry deaths have a different trend. In 2009,there were no deaths due to dowry in Panchkula. This,however,increased to three cases each in the next two years.
These were the cases which were registered at police stations,apart from the ones tackled by the special cell for Crime Against Women (CAW). The CAW cell is involved with counselling the aggrieved parties and settling matters before a case is registered. In cases where counselling is not helpful,cases are registered as a last resort.
On asking about the crime rate being higher in some areas than others,police officers point to the socio-economic composition of the place. Manjit Kaur,in-charge of CAW cell,said,Sectors 14 and 20 include Indira Colony and Rajiv Colony which are slums that report high crime rates. She added,In these slums,women are the earning members of the family. Most men regularly get drunk and torture their wives physically. Often it becomes an ego issue where a drunk man gets influenced by his neighbour beating up his wife and does the same.