Even as data presented before the Gujarat Assembly showed that 2,723 cases of rape and gang rape were reported from Gujarat in the past two years, Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said that the figures do not show the realistic picture as many of these cases are of love affairs in which young boys and girls elope, eventually resulting in compromise when the couple return. Jadeja said that Gujarat is certainly not a “state of rapists” and women are “very safe here”.
Jadeja said this during Question Hour in the Gujarat Assembly on Wednesday, during the discussion on the number of reported incidents of rape, gang rape and attempt to rape in Aravalli and Sabarkantha districts of North Gujarat in the past two years. The question was raised by Congress MLA from Modasa constituency, Rajendrasinh Thakore.
Similar questions were asked by different Congress MLAs on registered cases of rape, gang rape or attempt to rape in other districts in the past two years as well. And the data showed that total 2,723 such cases were registered in 33 districts of Gujarat in the past two years. Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot districts top the list with 540, 452 and 158 cases respectively. In Aravalli and Sabarkantha districts, the number of rape cases was 76.
Taking part in the discussion, Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani expressed concerns over such big number of cases of rape in Gujarat. In reply, Jadeja said that there is no cause of worry for Gujarat because the rate of such crimes in Gujarat is much lower than the national average.
“Among 34 states of the country, Gujarat is at number 31 (in terms of such cases). We do not want to tolerate a single incident of rape in the state,” said Jadeja.
He then added that in many cases young boys and girls elope with each other and when a police complaint is lodged in the case, the charge of rape is included in it.
“But when the boys and girls return, they have either got married or a compromise has been struck. Therefore, such figures are not realistic. Gujarat is not a state of rapists. I assure that Gujarat is completely safe,” Jadeja said.
Speaker Rajendra Trivedi also expressed concern over such cases in which love affairs resulted in complaints of rape. He asked Jadeja to provide him details of how many — among the 76 cases of rape in Aravalli and Sabarkantha districts — were of love affairs.
He also sought details of such cases among the 76 in which the accused were below the age of 25.
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