Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 29: A total of 16,755 cases of rape have been reported in the last one decade in Kerala, which boasts of 100 per cent literacy, progressive outlook and high socio-development index.
While 11,325 cases related to the rape of women, 5,430 involved children in the period from 2007-2017 (up to July). According to crime statistics provided by the Kerala Police, 1,475 cases of rape were reported in the first nine months of this year alone. In 2016, as many as 1,656 rape cases had been registered from January-December, as per the statistics. There has been a general upward trend in the number of rape cases with 500 in 2007, 548 in 2008, 554 in 2009, 617 in 2010, 1132 in 2011, 1019 in 2012, 1221 in 2013, 1347 in 2014, 1256 in 2015, 1656 in 2016 and 1475 in 2017 (up to September).
According to statistics uploaded on the Kerala Police website, the total number of crimes against women reported during the 10-year period was a whopping 1,32,365. Senior IPS officer Ajeetha Begum said the speedy investigation and fast-track trials and conviction of the guilty besides grassroots level awareness would help reduce crimes against women.
Commenting on the high number of rape cases, she said it was a positive sign in one way as it happens because more women were aware of their rights and were ready to fight crimes against them.
"Registration of cases is just the initial step of the investigation. Speedy and professional investigation will help ensure that the guilty are convicted," Begum told PTI.
"We need to develop a culture of registering complaints immediately after the occurrence of the crime," she said.
Of the total 11,001 various crimes reported against women this year, 3,407 were incidents of molestation, 147 kidnapping and abduction, 9 dowry deaths, 2,452 cruelty by husband and relatives and 3,222 other offences, statistics revealed. The highest number of rapes were reported this year from Thiruvananthapuram (rural)-157, followed by Malappuram-136 and Palakkad-105. Meanwhile, the total number of crimes reported against children in the southern state during the last 10 years (from 2017-2017 July) stood at 16,624. Of the total 2,581 cases reported up to July this year, 825 were rape cases, it said.