As the shocking incidents of rapes against minors continue in Madhya Pradesh, the data available with The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that the recent rapes were not isolated cases in the state. During the last 15 years, the state witnessed a whopping 532 percent increase in cases of rape against children.
Among the latest incidents in the state, in Khajuraho, a 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by three minor boys on the cusp of July 6 and 7. In yet another incident in Satna district, a four-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a 23-year-old man who was known to her family members. Before that, on June 26, an eight-year-old girl was allegedly raped by two men in Mandsaur district who left her brutally injured.
The state, that is going to polls later this year, has recorded sharp increase in attack against minors and women for the last 15 years. The NCRB data says that 390 cases of rapes against minors had been recorded in 2001, while the number went up to 2,467 in 2016 which was an increase of 532 percent. If we consider the total number of cases of rapes and sexual abuses against minors, under the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the rise is much more shocking. The number of cases increased from 360 in 2001 to 4717 in 2016. Simply, out of total 153,701 cases of sexual abuses against children that had been recorded across the country between 2001 and 2016, 23,659 cases were marked in Madhya Pradesh.
Earlier in December, the legislature passed a bill that proposes the death penalty as the maximum punishment for those convicted for raping minors aged up to 12 years. However, minors and women continue to be unsafe in the state. The statistics from the state assembly further portray the brutal reality of the state. In last March, the assembly was informed that as many as 62 women were allegedly gang-raped, 43 women were murdered and at least 10 were burnt alive since November 2017.
More shockingly, 33 minors were gang-raped between November 2017 and February 15, 2018.
If we consider the incidence and rate of crimes committed against children in the state, 3656 cases were recorded in 2004. Whereas in 2016, the cases had jumped to 13,746 which shows an increase of 376.
While considering the cases of rape under Section 376 of the IPC and under Section 4 and 6 of the POCSO across the country, as per the NCRB data, 10,854 cases were registered in 2015. However, 2016 had seen 19,765 such cases being reported. In 2016, Madhya Pradesh witnessed the most number of cases with the number going as high as 2,467. Maharashtra with 2,292 and Uttar Pradesh with 2,115 followed Madhya Pradesh.
In 2003 assembly polls in the state, promising a responsive and accountable government, the then BJP regime had paved their way to form the government. Even though the “responsive” regime has been ruling the state since 2003, crimes against women have been rising since then. In 2004, as many as 15,203 cases of crimes committed against women had been registered in MP. Over a decade later, in 2016, 26,604 cases were registered to constitute 7.8 percent of the total cases across the country.
The records show that the attacks against minors and women have only increased under the BJP regime since it came to power in 2003.