An almost steady decline in cases of crimes against women, as well as a dip in the number of convictions: These are the two trends the come to light while assessing Delhi Police data from the south district, where the December 16, 2012 gangrape-murder that shook the country took place.
Responding to an RTI query from The Indian Express, the Delhi Police’s south district has stated that in the last five years, the maximum number of rape cases (246) — and arrests (254) — were seen in 2015. This was a sharp uptick from the previous year, when 195 rape cases were filed, and 220 people were arrested. Since 2015, though, both these figures have steadily declined. In 2016, 197 rape cases were filed and 218 arrests were made; in 2017, 175 cases were filed and 197 arrests were made; and till October 30 this year, 111 cases were filed and 109 arrests were made.
The number of convictions, meanwhile, remains dismally low. It went from 9 in 2014 to 14, 1, 0 and 0 in the subsequent years. This adds up to only 24 convictions in the last five years.
The trend is similar in cases lodged under IPC 354(A) (sexual harassment), 354(B) (assault or criminal force with intent to disrobe) and 354(D) (stalking). Here, the total number of cases registered went from 374 in 2014 to 503 in 2015 and 522 in 2016, before falling sharply to 188 cases in 2017 and 131 cases this year.
A total of 1,532 people were arrested in connection with these cases in the last five years. Here, too, the number of convictions paints a worrying picture: 11 in 2014, and 8, 2, 0 and 0 in subsequent years.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Vijay Kumar said ease in filing FIRs and prompt arrests have deterred criminals. “The reason why cases of rape and molestation have substantially gone down is due to ease of FIR registration and quick arrests. As for conviction rates, it is rare that a conviction does not take place as a result of police investigation. Many cases are cancelled and sometimes quashed at the court level,” Kumar said.
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