Safe city? Mumbai rape cases up 14% in 2011


Mumbai saw a 14 per cent jump in rape cases in 2011, further damaging its reputation as a safe city for women. It also saw a 23 per cent hike in the number of cases registered for outraging the modesty of women last year.

According to the Mumbai Police's records, a total of 219 rape cases were registered in the city last year compared to 192 cases in 2010. The number of rape cases has, in fact, risen steadily over the past three years, with the figure being 178 cases in 2009.

Other crimes against women have also shown a steep rise over this period, such as cases registered for outraging the modesty of women. While 395 such cases were registered in 2009, the number rose sharply to 556 in 2010. Last year, 556 such cases were registered.

While the Mumbai Police admitted that crimes against women have increased, and that women's safety was being treated as "prime priority'', it suggested that this was a social problem as 94 per cent of these crimes were committed by people known to the victims, while 13 were committed by strangers.

In six cases, the culprits were a parent or close family member, in nine cases they were relatives, in 26 neighbours, in 65 they were people booked for misleading the victim by false promises of marriage, and they were other known persons in 100 cases.

On the increase in crimes against women, Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik said, "The safety of women is our prime priority and a zero tolerance policy against such crimes is necessary. We are always eager to roll out measures that can bolster the safety of women in city. However, Mumbai is still a relatively safe city for women."

Patnaik claimed many steps had been taken by Deputy Commissioners of Police and Additional Commissioners of Police in various police zones and regions respectively to curb such crimes.

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