Crimes against women decreased by 8.3% in 2020 compared to the number of cases filed in 2019, according to the latest data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau, a unit of Ministry of Home Affairs in the latest version of its flagship 'Crime In India' publication.
The data reported that in cases filed under both the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and special and local laws, cases of crimes against women fell to 3,71,503 in 2020 compared to 4,05,326 cases in 2019. The nationwide crime rate was 56.5.
A crime rate is defined by the NCRB as crimes per one lakh of population.
Assam has recorded the highest crime rate against women for the fourth year in a row. Its crime rate is 154.3, with 26,532 reported cases. The crime rates of Odisha at 112.9, Delhi at 106.4 and Telangana at 95.4 follow, with 25,489 cases, 10,093 cases and 17,791 cases respectively. In absolute numbers, Uttar Pradesh has recorded the highest number of crimes at 49,835, followed by West Bengal at 36,439 and Rajasthan 34,535, with crime rates of 45.1, 76.2 and 90.5 respectively.
Among IPC crimes, cases under 'cruelty by husband and relatives' (IPC section 498A) are the highest with 1,11,549 cases, followed by 'assault to outrage the modesty of women' (IPC section 354) with 85,392 cases, 'kidnapping and abduction' (various sections of the IPC) with 62,300 cases and rape (section 376 of the IPC) with 28,046 cases. A total of 3,11,354 cases were reported last year under various sections of the IPC.
Under Special and local law (SSL) cases, 10,366 cases were filed under the Dowry Prohibition Act, and 46,123 under the Protection of Children From Sexual Assault Act. Both these form a majority (nearly 94%) of all SLL cases of crimes against women, amounting to 60,149 in total.
However, crimes against women is not the only sphere under which crimes have declined. The report said that since the report pertains to a pandemic year, that saw the first wave of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, cases under heads like crimes against women, children and senior citizens, theft, burglary, robbery and dacoity declined. "The cases registered under crimes against women, children and senior citizens, theft, burglary, robbery and dacoity have therefore declined, whereas COVID related enforcement has resulted in an increase of cases registered under 'Disobedience to order duly promulgated by Public Servant (Sec. 188 IPC)', under 'Other IPC Crimes' and under 'Other State Local Acts'", the report adds.
Find the data on the NCRB here.
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