Haryana has witnessed a sharp increase in the cases of kidnapping of women and girls in the past three years, according to crimes figures tabled in the state Assembly on Wednesday. As against 1,698 such cases registered during the financial year 2015-16, as many as 2,495 such cases have been registered in the first 10 months alone of the current financial year.
When contacted, Inspector General of Police (crime against women) Mamta Singh said, “The increase in the number of such cases is because of newly opened women police stations. I take it positively. Women feel more comfortable in expressing their grievances to woman police officers than to male ones because of the kind of questions they face. There is also an increase in the number of molestation cases, which earlier used to go unreported. The people should come forward to report if there is any crime.”
On the issue of increase in kidnapping of women and girls, she said, “During investigations, we often find that actually it was not the case of kidnapping but of elopement. Registration of a case, many a time, doesn’t reveal a true picture.” However, All India Democratic Women Association’s (AIDWA) Haryana unit president Shakuntla Jakhar claimed there was an increase in crime against women in the state.
The crime figures, which were tabled in the Assembly in response to a question of Congress MLA Jagbir Singh Malik, also mentioned an increase in the cases of attempt to rape, which has gone up to 155 this year in comparison to 120 in 2015-16. In 10 months of the current financial year, 1016 rape cases have been registered while the figure was 1001 three years back.
“Whether a case is true or false, we lodge an FIR after receiving a complaint. Many of these cases get cancelled also. Last year, about 250 rape cases were cancelled,” says Mamta Singh, who is also spokesperson of Haryana Police.
Citing the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data, the government admitted that the cases of crime against women were higher in Haryana than Punjab and Himachal Pradesh during 2016. However, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan were worse in the same year.