92 in India, 4 in Delhi raped every day: Swift justice can curb incidences

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92 women were raped on an average every day in the country
December 16, 2012 haunts nation for the gruesome attack on a teenage girl, who was gangraped and brutally killed. This episode created a huge furore, following which tougher law on rape with increased penalties was enacted in the country. But, two years later, rapes do not seem to be declining.

According to latest report by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 92 women were raped on an average every day in the country and the national capital with 1,636 cases recorded the highest number of such crimes among all cities last year.

Number of rapes have gone up to 33,707 in 2013 from 24,923 in 2012.

At a time when the Modi Government talks about women empowerment, the spiraling graph of crime against women is an alarming issue. Rape cases rear their ugly facade almost every day in newspapers. Sometimes, it is a brutal rape and murder by a stranger, gangrape girl's own friends or relatives. In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in ratio of rape in India.

What the latest NCRB report says?

According to figures released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the total number of rape cases reported in India has gone up to 33,707 in 2013 from 24,923 in 2012. In 15,556 cases, the rape victims were aged between 18 and 30 years in 2013.

The number of rape cases has doubled in Delhi in 2013 compared to the previous year. A total of 1,636 rape cases were reported in the city last year, while 706 such cases were reported in the year 2012. On an average, four rape cases were reported in Delhi everyday in 2013.

The data also unveiled a disturbing fact that in the majority of the cases, the offenders were known to the victims. NCRB statistics shows that in 94 per cent of the cases the offenders were familiar to the accused. These offenders included parents in 539 cases, neighbours in 10,782 cases, relatives in 2,315 cases and other known persons in 18,171 such cases reported over the year.

What are the reasons?

The Government would have enacted tougher rape law post 2012 Delhi gang rape, nothing has changed in reality. Legal experts say that many rapes go unreported. Due to "family honour" many complaint filed with police are withdrawn and in many cases the police do not give a fair hearing. As per a study, only 5% of such crimes reach police stations in villages and in only 30% cases, actions are taken against the accused. This encouraged the accused to roam freely.

Many experts say the lower rate of convictions is one of the many reasons of increase in rape cases.

Other reasons for rapes in the country include India's patriarchal and hierarchical society, an insensitive polity and lack of education.

Has the Government done enough?

After the Delhi gangrape case, the Government actively made amendments to the rape laws and set up fast track court to speed up such cases. But, still the ground level reality has not changed. The newly formed fast track courts took up nearly 300 trials (299). According to National crime bureau report for 2012, an overwhelming 85 percent of rape cases are still awaiting trial in court.

Moreover, the Nirbhaya fund that was started in 2012 with Rs 1000 crore for the empowerment of women is lying unused and the Government has not even decided over where to use it.

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