On Tuesday, in between the Hathras gang-rape victim succumbing to her injuries at a Delhi hospital and the Uttar Pradesh police cremating her body without letting the family see her, the National Crime Records Bureau released the Crime in India (CII) report for 2019. The report shows, on an average, 88 incidents of rape took place every day in the country,
The report pointed out that the rate of crime against women (crime rate is calculated as crime per one lakh of population) increased from 58.8 in 2018 to 62.4 in 2019. There were 32,033 incidents of rape, with 32,260 victims, and 15.43% of the victims were girls below 18 years of age. The number of rapes saw a decline of only 4% since 2018. During 2019, there were 3,944 attempts of rape on 4,038 victims, out of whom 8.6% were girls below 18 years of age. In 94.16% of the cases, the offender was someone known to the victim. During the year, 286 women were murdered after being raped or gang-raped.
Among the states, the crime rate for rape was highest in Rajasthan, where 5,997 incidents of rape were reported during 2019. At the second place was Uttar Pradesh (3,065 incidents), where a 19-year-old dalit woman from Hathras was the latest victim of rape. Rajasthan and UP were followed by Madhya Pradesh (2,485 incidents), Maharashtra (2,299 incidents), and Kerala (2,023 cases). Delhi topped the list of Union Territories by reporting at 1,253 rape cases.
There were also 3,944 reported attempts to commit rape across the country in 2019, which is a crime under Sections 376 and 511 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The number of similar incidents in the year 2018 was 4,097, and it barely witnessed any decrease.
The number of reported incidents of ‘assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty’, which is a crime under Section 354 of the IPC, was 88,367, and the number of victims was 89,292. This means, every day in 2019, more than 244 women were assaulted with the intention to outrage their modesty. The number of similar incidents reported in 2018 was 89,907.
The number of incidents under Section 509 of the IPC (insult to the modesty of women) barely saw any decrease too. The number of such incidents marginally went down from 6,992 in 2018 to 6,939 in 2019. However, the number of victims went up from 7,035 in 2018, to 7,169 in 2019.
Cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Violence (POCSO) Act that included female victims, accounted for 10.9% of all crimes against women. The total number of cases under POCSO was 44,189--an increase of 13.89% from 2018. With 7,444 cases, Uttar Pradesh accounted for the highest share, followed by Maharashtra (6,402), and Madhya Pradesh (6,053). Delhi accounted for 1,596 cases.
The conviction rate for crimes against women remained alarmingly low. According to the CII report, in 2019, the conviction rate for rape was 27.8%. The conviction rates for assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty, and insult to the modesty of women were 26.9% and 21.8% respectively. The conviction rate for crimes reported under the POCSO act was 34.8%. The total conviction rate for all crimes against women was just 23.7%.