207 rapes but 14 MLAs from Mumbai had nothing to say

Mumbai was shamed by 207 rape and 552 molestation cases in 2011-12 but the sheer numbers appears to have failed to catch the attention of MLAs from Mumbai, once considered the safest for women.

This is what the number of issues related to women's safety elected representatives of people from the city raised in the Assembly in the last three sessions reveals. The number fell short of even the number of MLAs from the city.

Of the 36 MLAs, 22 raised just about 31 issues related to women, while 14 MLAs chose to remain silent.

Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Vinod Tawde, while expressing shock over the rising crime against women in the city, admitted that MLAs from the city have had many other issues to raise in the last three sessions.

Some issues legislators from the city raised in the House ranged from "air-conditioning for sniffer dogs" of the police force, the urgent need of stopping mischievous rumours of a "monkey man", and a dance bar that needed shutting down as it was disturbing neighbours (incidentally, the first two issues were raised by Congress MLAs and the third by a BJP MLA).

207 rapes but 14 MLAs from Mumbai had nothing to say

As reported by The Indian Express earlier, the 36 legislators from the city asked 1,515 questions related to crime and security, of which 159 related to women and their safety. These 159 questions pertained to 31 women-related issues, many of them being repeat questions. The questions were asked by just 22 MLAs from the city, the other 14 did not raise even a single question related to women's safety.

A recent survey by NGO Praja Foundation reveals that rape cases grew by 15% in Mumbai in 2011-12 and molestation cases reported to police jumped from 483 in 2010-11 to 552 last year. In an accompanying report, Praja concluded that while crime rate had more or less stabilised in Mumbai in the last four years, certain crimes such as rape, molestation, and vehicle theft had been growing. Even accidents were increasing.

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