In yet another year when crime against women has been high in Andhra Pradesh,the most noticeable rise has been in the frequency of cases of abetment to suicide against husbands or in-laws. According to figures from the State Crime Records Bureau of the CID,the frequency of dowry-related murders has remained roughly the same.
From January 1 to June 30 this year,708 cases of abetment to suicide 118 a month have been registered across the state against husbands and in-laws. In 2011,such cases numbered 1,287 for the entire year,or 107 a month.
This years 708 cases are over and above the 376 dowry murders and deaths that occurred in that six-month period. That is more than 1,000 cases related to either dowry or harassment for one reason or the other, says AP Mahila Sanghams P A Devi.
The previous year had seen 761 dowry-related deaths and murders in 12 months; the current frequency is lower by about one case every month. Overall,15,610 various cases of crime against women were registered across the state in the first half of this year.
A number of harassment-related incidents have had techies involved. On July 31,25-year-old Dipti Chary hanged herself at her house near Madhapur in Hyderabad. She was married to Visarupa Chary,a software engineer. Her parents lodged a complaint against him for harassing their daughter for additional dowry.
Hyderabad City and Cyberabad,the IT hub,logged the highest number of harassment cases,755 and 870 respectively,during the first six months of 2012.
Besides domestic violence,dowry and harassment,urban women in the state are exposed to cyber crime too. Andhra Pradesh registered the highest number last year,379. Officials say a majority of these cases were related to cyber stalking,cyber defamation,posting of obscene and objectionable material or transmitting text or email messages to women. In many cases the accused were software engineers or students who resorted to such methods as a revenge when their love proposals were rejected or an affair went sour. Cyber crime cases against women doubled in 2011 in comparison to 2010, an official of the State Crime Records Bureau of the AP CID said.
In 2011,23,928 cases were registered under Crime Against Women,against 21,564 in 2010.
V Sandhya,head of Progressive Organisation of Women,says everything related to women in AP either ranks among the top three or last two. The state always ranks number one or two in crime against women and we are usually ranked last when it comes to womens literacy levels. In many states,as socio-economic development progresses,crimes against women are coming down but only in Andhra do you see it growing by 11 to 20 per cent every year. A certain degree of acceptability has crept into the culture about mistreatment of women. Some Telugu films that romanticise mistreatment and harassment of women are also to be blamed, she says.