Despite stringent laws and awareness campaigns, as many as 910 cases of rape have been reported in Kerala in the first six months of this year, giving an indication of continuing atrocities against women in the state. A total of 7,909 cases of crimes against women were reported across the state upto July, according to state police’s crime statistics. Of them, 2332 were cases of molestation, 190 cases of eve teasing and 78 cases of kidnapping of women besides 910 cases of rape, it said. The number of rape cases reported last year was 1263, it said.
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Expressing concern over the alarming figures, state Women’s Commission Chairperson K C Rosakkutty said awareness seminars and classes were not enough to tackle the increasing atrocities against women. Absence of fast-track courts and speedy trials are among the major challenges in dealing with rape cases, she said. “In most of the rape cases, we fail in ensuring that the accused gets the right punishment at the right time for the gruesome crime committed.
“The delay in trials and awarding of punishments also contribute to increase in such cases,” Rosakkutty told media. “We have been demanding fast-track courts for years to ensure speedy trial in rape cases. But, it still remains as a demand. The delay in trials gives criminals ample time to escape through the loopholes in law,” she said.
Stating that the Women’s Commission conducts state-wide seminars and awareness classes regularly, she said such drives were not enough to check the atrocities against women. “Despite all these drives, women are still considered and treated as second grade citizens in our society. This attitude should be changed first. Mothers should be given special awareness to nurture their children as good citizens,” she said. Local bodies and community outfits also have a role to play at the grassroot level to check attacks against women.
According to the statistics, the highest number of crimes against women including rape were reported from the northern district of Malappuram, where as many as 861 cases under various categories were registered during the period. The total number of rape cases reported from Malappuram was 106, followed by Thiruvananthapuram rural (78) and Ernakulam rural (64), it said. Malappuram also witnessed highest number of cases in terms of molestation (160) and cruelty by husbands and other relatives (266), the statistics added.