Representational Image. Image Courtesy: India Today
Bhopal: On an average, 16 girls were kidnapped or abducted every day in Madhya Pradesh in the year 2018, as per the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, Crime in India -2018, which was released recently.
According to the report, Madhya Pradesh registered the third highest number of cases of kidnapping and abduction of children among all states in 2018. A total of 7,951 victims were recorded under the category of ‘kidnapping and abduction’, where 72.53% were girls.
The report revealed that a 27% rise in cases of kidnapping and abduction of minor girls was recorded in five years -- 2014-2018. The NCRB data states that the number of girl child victims of kidnapping and abduction rose from 4,546 in 2014 to 5,767 in 2018. There was a considerable decline in this number in 2015 when this figure decreased to 3,590, but it again jumped to 4,091 in 2016.
Cases of kidnapping and abduction reported in Madhya Pradesh from 2014-2018 by NCRB
The NCRB data also revealed that teenage girls were prone to kidnapping and abduction in the state. In all, 94% cases of kidnapping and abduction of girls were reported in age group 12-16 years and 16-18 years. This percentage is 92% at the national level. The NCRB 2018 data suggests that a total 2,219 girl victims were in the age group of 12-16 years and 3,214 were of age group 16-18 years in Madhya Pradesh.
Age-wise victims of kidnapping and abduction of girls reported in MP in 2018 (NCRB 2018)
Commenting on the issue, the Regional Director of Child Rights and You (CRY), Soha Moitra, said: “It is alarming that 94% of minor girls who were kidnapped or abducted in 2018 in MP were of age group 12-18 years. Usually, there is a generic response to such trends that says that girls of this age group elope. It is high time we broke this narrative, as these girls might have been pushed into child labour, domestic trade, and even sex trade”.
55.8% Rise in Cases Under POCSO
Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in a year in MP
Another important data revealed in the NCRB report was the rise of 55.8% in cases reported under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in a year in MP. In 2017, the number of cases registered under the POCSO Act in the state was 1,569, which increased to 2,445 in 2018. MP reported the third highest cases registered under the Act.
Maharashtra topped the list with the highest 6,233 cases followed by Uttar Pradesh with 5,401 cases.
MP also reported the highest number of cases of minor rapes under Section 376 IPC in 2018.
Madhya Pradesh also topped the list of states reporting the highest number of cases of minor rapes (Sec 376 IPC, Excluding Rapes under Sec 4&6 of POCSO Act). In all, 2,830 cases of minor rapes were recorded in MP in 2018.
Expressing concern over the present state of girl children in Madhya Pradesh on the eve of National Girl Child Day, Moitra said whether it was about safety, health, education or nutrition, girls were vulnerable at every stage.
While some efforts have been taken to ensure child protection by the state government, a lot more was needed to see expected results on the ground, she said, adding that there was need to build confidence of girls at a tender age by empowering them physically as well as mentally.
Moitra said CRY, a 40-year-old non-profit organisation, tries to bring together adolescent girls and provides them a platform where they can share their concerns and participate in age appropriate discussions.