New Delhi: Six cases of rape and eight cases of molestation were filed every day on an average in the national capital this year till July 15, according to the Delhi Police statistics, which highlight a disturbing situation.
Altogether, 1,176 cases of rape were registered till July 15 this year, the data reveals. The figures are very disturbing as these highlight the continued vulnerability of women in the national capital even 7 years after the gruesome gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old medico here, which had created a nationwide outrage and led to vows by the political and administrative leadership to address the problem with all seriousness.
The victim, now known as 'Nirbhaya', was raped by six men in a moving bus in a south Delhi area while she was returning home with a male friend on December 16, 2012. In the wake of anger and outrage over it, the laws against rape and molestation were strengthened but the situation remains unchanged.
"Travelling after work is a nightmare for women. I see no policeman deployed at isolated places. While returning home from work in public transport, there are so many dark stretches I have to pass daily."
"I keep talking over phone to either my friends or family members so that they would know if anything untoward occurred," said 30-year-old Shweta Mehta, an engineer who works in Gurugram and lives in Jangpura. According to the police, in most of the rape cases, the accused were known to the victims.
Last year, the Delhi Police stated that 43 per cent of the accused in rape cases were either friends or family friends, 16.25 per cent were neighbours, 12.04 per cent were relatives, 2.89 per cent were co-workers and 22.86 per cent were other known persons.
Only 2.5 per cent of the accused were not known to the victim, police said, adding this was a decline from the previous years. In 2017 and 2016, strangers were arrested in 3.36 and 3.57 per cent rape cases, respectively.
Last year, 1780 cases of molestation were reported as compared to 1,589 cases this year till July 15 while there were 3,422 cases in the entire year of 2017. A senior police officer had an explanation for the cringe-worthy numbers.
"Following the the Nirbhaya case, more women are coming forward and giving complaints. We have generated confidence in women to report," the officer said.
The Police has requested the Delhi government to improve the last mile connectivity and asked the Social Welfare Department to initiate programmes for awareness and education in slums and places recording higher incidents of crime against women.
Delhi Police has also requested the city government to install lights on dark stretches of roads and introduce self-defence as part of school curriculum.
As safety of women in the national capital continues to remain a cause of concern, police has laid emphasis on popularisation of 'Himmat Plus', creating gender sensitisation and mindset reformation as a part of 'Sashakti'.