THE number of rape cases registered in the city in the first three months of 2013 has seen a three-fold rise from the same period the previous year,according to the Mumbai Polices records.
Mumbai police registered 96 cases of rape against minors and adults during January-March 2013,as against 33 cases in the same period in 2012.
There were 232 cases of rape in 2012,63 per cent of which involved minor victims. There were as many as 146 cases of rape in which minors were victims. In 2011,there were 220 cases of rape,with 139 victims being minors.
An internal review by the police found that following the Delhi gangrape of a 21-year old girl in a moving bus,people in the city were more forthcoming in reporting such cases to the police. The numbers have increased only because more people are now coming forward to register rape complaints, said Sadanand Date,Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order).
Date said the nature of such cases remained unchanged,even as there was a surge in the number of cases. He added that the department has studied the pattern and found that in over 95 per cent cases,the accused are known to the victims. In many cases,the accused are those who have raped and dumped the victims after making a promise of marriage. In maximum cases,even till date,the accused is either a relative or a known person, said Date.
The zonal police officers meanwhile spoke of a new trend. Many citizens approach the police directly if a relative has been raped or when they learn about rape incidents in their neighbourhood. Many times we get anonymous letters from alert citizens or relatives in our complaint boxes informing of rape incidents, confirmed A Shaikh,senior police inspector of Malwani police station.
A few officers claim awareness campaigns about stricter action against the accused have also started fetching more complaints. The police officials have also been instructed to study the factors which prompt a victim to approach the police.
We do not send away any complainant. We take the complaint and try to verify the authenticity at the probe stage, said Krishna Prakash,Additional Commissioner of Police (south region).