The Bharatiya Janata Party government Tuesday admitted that the first five months of 2015 saw 1,585 cases of rape and 5,261 others of molestation and attempted rapes (11).
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis shared this information in a written reply to a starred query raised by the Opposition regarding the rise in atrocities against women and children in the state.
The chief minister admitted in his reply that between January 1, 2015 and May 31, 2015, 2,394 child kidnapping cases were lodged in various police stations, while the total number of cases involving crimes against children were 5,035 during the same period.
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The Maharashtra Police’s Crimes in Maharashtra 2013 report had earlier said the number of rapes cases registered in 2011, 2012 and 2013 were 1,701, 1,839, and 3,063, respectively. As per the latest data, the rate of rape cases in the first five months of the year was higher than that in 2013. Fadnavis’s reply also said of all rape cases registered in 2015, victims in about 96 cases were minors. About 196 cases of child kidnapping during the five months involved the girl child.
The Opposition has been targeting Fadnavis on the delicate law and order situation in the state. The disturbing trend regarding crimes against children and women in 2015 so far is likely to provide it with additional ammunition, according to sources.
The CM listed various steps enacted by the government to buck the trend, including setting up of Prevention of Women Atrocities Cell and women assistance cells at the police commissionerate level, coupled with appointment of women safety committees across police stations.
Mumbai Police officers, however, said the increase in numbers was a reflection of a positive trend rather than a negative one. “We have consistently been encouraging people to come forward and report cases of sexual exploitation to us, so that action can be taken swiftly and a strong message can be sent out. The fact that the number of cases being reported every year are increasing is indicative of the fact that more people are now coming forward and reporting such incidents,” said JCP (Law and Order) Deven Bharti.