Weeks after informing the Delhi High Court that over 60 per cent of all cases of sexual offences against women such as rape and molestation were committed by known persons and family members, the Delhi Police, in a fresh affidavit, has given even more worrying data.
Less than 5 per cent of a total of 1704 rapes reported in the Capital till October 15 this year were committed by total strangers, whereas close relatives such as the father, step-father, brother, cousin, uncle, brother-in-law and father-in-law were accused in over 241 rapes.
Over 430 rapes reported were committed by a neighbor or family friend.
The affidavit filed before the Delhi High Court also reveals that a staggering 35 per cent of all rape victims are aged less than 16, whereas only 26 per cent were over 25 years old. In contrast, women over 25 years of age are the largest age group in the victims of molestation, with 1451 out of a total of 3485 victims of molestation being over 25 years of age.
The data also shows a clear distinction in the education levels and socio-economic strata of the victims and the accused in various crimes.
While women belonging to the poorer sections of society constitute 64 per cent of all rape victims this year, molestation complaints seem to be mostly from middle-class women, which comprise over 80 per cent of the complainants.
Contrary to public perception, less than 8 per cent of the accused in rape cases and only 3 per cent of the accused in molestations are under 18 years of age. Data also shows the largest number of accused persons in both rape and molestation cases are between 18-25 years of age. Most of the accused in both molestation and rape cases have also received some level of education, with a large number having passed class 10.
The data was submitted before the court of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul after the court last month directed the police to submit a report on the analysis of the data collected by crime mapping of the Capital. In a PIL filed by social worker Nandita Dhar through advocate Gaurav Bansal, the court has asked the police and the government to conduct crime mapping and sociological analysis of the crimes against women in Delhi.
The police say the government has approved scripts for television and radio advertisement to create awareness about crimes against women. The government has also said that more women police officers are being appointed, and are being deployed as beat officers.
The police also stated that the women beat officers have been asked to stay in regular touch with the women living in their areas and form Women Safety Committees to coordinate and raise awareness.
The Nandita Dhar case will now come up for hearing before the bench of Justices Ahmed and Justice Mridul on Wednesday.