The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is an attached office in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). NCRB is tasked with collection and dissemination of a secure national database on crimes, criminals and law enforcement agencies etc. Every year, the NCRB collects data from Police departments at the state level and compiles it into a ‘Crime in India’ report. The report has detailed information on various types of crimes. Crime against Women consist of crime heads namely Rape, Attempt to Commit Rape, Kidnapping & Abduction of Women, Dowry Deaths, Assault on Women with intent to Outrage her Modesty, Insult to Modesty of Women, Cruelty by Husband or his Relatives, Abetment of Suicides of Women (Sec 306 IPC), Dowry Prohibition Act and others.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a total of 3, 37,922 incidents of violence against women occurred in the country in 2014. This is an average of almost 28,000 incidents a month. Eight states Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar account for 64% of all the incidents. These states were ruled by various parties at different points in time and not a single party. Seven states reported less than 500 such incident in 2014 and all of them belong the North East.
The data shows that 56 out of every 1 Lakh women in India were subjected to sexual or physical violence in 2014. The figures have only deteriorated in 2015, the report of which is yet to be published officially on the ministry’s website. The world’s largest democracy is also the Rape capital of the world in terms of total number of reported and unreported rapes. Mind you, this figure of 3, 37,922 is only the reported crime and does not include the one’s that go unreported due to social prejudice and harassment/bullying of victims. Soon after coming to power, PM Modi launched ‘Selfie with daughter’ campaign for empowerment of girl child in India. Twitter was flooded with photos of India’s daughters while Lakhs of them were being molested on ground. The ‘Selfie with daughter’ campaign proved to be just another cultural programme of the Govt. to keep the Bhakts busy and thinking that ‘Something is happening. Acche din jaldi aayenge’! Something similar to Ghar Wapsi , Love Jihad, Beef Ban etc.
Contrary to general perception, UP does not top in highest number of rapes in the country. Shivraj Singh’s VYAPAM stung MP leads the shame with highest 5076 cases of rapes recorded in 2014. Uttar Pradesh though makes its shameful presence felt in highest Sexual Harassment and Stalking cases. Before you blame low literacy for the sad state of affairs in these states, absorb the fact that the country’s business Capital, Maharashtra is not far behind UP and WB when it comes to inhuman treatment of our women. It seems lawlessness is as much to be blamed as lack of education, at least that’s what the data suggests.
In 2012, the anger and massive protests following the rape and murder of Nirbhaya gave rise to hopes for change in India. The former leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and current foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, had said: “The rapists should be hanged.” Crumbling under immense pressure from the protesters, Government constituted the Justice Verma committee to review and suggest amendments to existing criminal law to deal with sexual assault cases sternly. The committee suggested Fast Track Courts for speedy disposal of sexual harassment cases among other recommendations. The Government announced ₹1000 crores of Nirbhaya Fund to improve arrangements for the safety of women in India. Subsequently, the government added another ₹2500 crore to the scheme making it a total of ₹3500 crores. Sadly, the NCRB data shows that a whopping 87.2 % of cases are pending disposal by Courts till 2104. That’s almost all of the cases being pending! Let’s not comment on the Judiciary, lest I am slapped with a court notice! One reason may be the shortage of Judges and almost no hurry been shown by Modi in filling the vacancies.
But the question remains that why thousands of crores lying unutilised under Nirbhaya fund can’t be used to set up Fast Track Courts? – Cause the government lacks will power! It is clear that fund to the tune of crores, sanctioned for women safety, is rotting while women continue to live in fear. The number of schemes announced is way too few. The schemes that have been announced have not been implemented. While hundreds of women are sexually abused across the nation, the parliament seems more interested in discussing who wore which raincoat while bathing and who belongs to the family of dogs.
REFORMS SUGGESTED BY JUSTICE VERMA COMMITTEE –
Unfortunately not a single point has been implemented while women continue to live in fear. Subsequent Governments have failed to safeguard the dignity of our women. The issue of women safety has not attracted the centre stage in Indian Politics for quite some time now. It is high time for the youth to unite and force the government to utilise Nirbhaya Fund in a more planned and strategic manner to develop a strong pro-women safety measures, laws to counter acid attacks, sexual harassment, and domestic violence against women. Only then we can possibly save India from becoming a land of helpless Nirbhaya’s.