More women were killed after being raped in 2018 than in 2017. According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, there was a 31% spurt in cases of rape with murder in 2018 as compared to 2017. This is the first time NCRB has out out such comparative data. It began collecting data on rape with murder only 2017. Such cases were earlier recorded as murder.
From 223 cases of rape with murder in 2017, the count increased to 291 in 2018. Assam recorded the highest number at 66 followed by Madhya Pradesh (46), UP (41) and Haryana (26). In 2017, UP had 64 such cases followed by Assam (27), Maharashtra (26) and Madhya Pradesh (21).
“It is difficult to say why this may be happening. It is possible that inclusion of death penalty for punishment against rape encourages the perpetrator to kill the victim. But we would need a few years more to have robust data to reach that conclusion with confidence,” an officer with the Bureau of Police Research and Development said.
Over 33,000 cases of rape were registered against women in 2018, marginally higher than the 32,559 in 2017.
Women and children were also among the more vulnerable sections to crime in 2018. While overall crime rate (crimes per lakh population) decreased in 2018, rate of crimes against women increased. Overall crime rate dropped from 388.6 in 2017 to 383.5 in 2018, rate of crimes against women rose from 57.9 to 58.8, and crime rate against children from 28.9 to 31.8.
Crime rate is a better indicator as it takes the size of the population into account. A state like UP would always have a higher number of crimes, but its rate is low because of high population. Higher crime rate may not always indicate poor law and order. A police force registering higher number of crimes will show a higher rate on its books than a force refusing to register FIRs.
There were 3,78,277 cases of crimes against women in 2018, up by 7% from 3,59,849 in 2017. The highest number was in UP (59,445) followed by Maharashtra (35,497) and West Bengal (30,394). Assam (166) followed by Delhi (149) had the highest rate of crimes against women.
The majority of crimes against women were under ‘Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives’ (31.9%) followed by ‘Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty’ (27.6%), ‘Kidnapping & Abduction of Women’ (22.5%) and ‘Rape’ (10.3%). “The crime rate per lakh women population is 58.8 in 2018 in comparison with 57.9 in 2017,” the report said.
In case of children, the report said, “In percentage terms, major crime heads under ‘Crime Against Children’ during 2018 were Kidnapping & Abduction (44.2%) and cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (34.7%) including child rape. The crime rate per lakh children population is 31.8 in 2018 in comparison with 28.9 in 2017.”
On overall crime in 2018, the report says, “A total of 50,74,634 cognizable crimes comprising 31,32,954 Indian Penal Code (IPC) crimes and 19,41,680 Special & Local Laws (SLL) crimes were registered in 2018. Though it shows an increase of 1.3% in registration of cases over 2017 (50,07, 044 cases), however, crime rate per lakh population has come down from 388.6 in 2017 to 383.5 in 2018.”
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