The city is becoming increasingly unsafe for women. Data obtained from the women’s grievance redressal cell of the Pune police showed that crimes against women have jumped by nearly 60% between January and July 2013 as compared to the same period last year.
Until July this year, 592 cases of crimes against women were recorded in the city police stations compared to 357 cases during the same period in 2012.
While this points to an increasingly unsafe atmosphere for women in the city, the Pune police have in fact claimed that the high numbers should be taken in a ‘positive light’ as it reflects better policing and awareness which has prompted women to come forward to file complaints.
Smita Jadhav, inspector incharge of women’s grievance redressal cell claimed that increased cases are not owing to increased crimes but merely greater reporting of crimes by women. “Now women are coming forward and addressing their grievances to us by approaching us or calling us on our helpline number. We have several interactive sessions with employees in IT companies while awareness programmes on good touch-bad touch in schools and colleges are being held. There is more patrolling on the campus. All this is is leading to more cases getting registered.”
However, the number of cases registered paint a different story.
As per the statistics of Pune city police obtained under Section 4 of the Right to Information Act, 2005, a total of 602 crimes against women were registered in the 33 police stations attached to the city police in 2012. Until July this year, the number has reached 592.
Shockingly, the highest jump is noticed in sexual crimes against women. The number of molestation cases registered under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 has jumped by 1.5 times.
As compared to 104 cases registered in 2012, this year until July alone 152 cases were registered. Similarly rape cases have increased as 83 cases were registered until July 2013 compared to 70 cases between January and December 2012.
Cops promise steps, but cases are on the rise
After the Delhi gang rape case, the city police claimed to have done many changes to bring down crimes against women. For example, police stations were directed to ensure investigation of all women-related cases is done by a lady officer, meeting of women’s groups would be done at police chowki-level, more women beat marshals would go for patrolling and complaint boxes would be put up in various schools and colleges.