Thiruvananthapuram: Over 1,500 rape cases have been registered in Kerala so far this year, according to police statistics.
The numbers have been revealed at a time when there is a nationwide uproar over increasing crimes against women after the recent killing of two young women in Hyderabad and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh respectively.
In Hyderabad, a young veterinarian was gang-raped, killed and set on fire by four men, while in Unnao a rape victim died after being set ablaze by her attackers.
According to the police’s crime records bureau, a total of 10,516 cases of atrocities against women have been reported up to September this year, of which 1,537 were rapes.
Though there is a slight dip in the number of rape cases this year compared to the 2,015 last year (provisional figures), it could go up when the cases in the rest of the months are taken into consideration.
Besides the rape cases, a total of 3,351 molestation, 167 kidnapping and abduction, 309 eve-teasing cases, four dowry deaths and 2,019 cases of cruelty by husbands and relatives have also been reported in the first nine months this year, it said.
A total of 2,003 and 1,656 rape cases had been reported in Kerala in 2017 and 2016 respectively, it added.
Kerala Women’s Commission Chairperson M C Josephine said fast-track courts, speedy trial and women-friendly police stations besides grassroots level awareness drives are the solutions to address the increasing atrocities against women.
However, she said compared to many other northern states, cases are registered in the state fast and it was a positive sign in a way.
“Delayed justice is a cause of worry in the cases of atrocities against women. Justice delayed amounts to justice being denied to the victims,” Josephine told PTI.
“It prompts people to think and act emotionally. That’s what we saw in Telangana recently,” she said.
So, fast-track courts should be set up. Trials should be expedited and stringent punishment should be ensured to the culprits, the Women’s Commission chairperson said.
Despite stringent laws, women are facing new forms of crimes and atrocities nowadays, she pointed out. “Five women have died in petrol attacks in Kerala in the last six months,” she said.
The feudal mindset of the society which doesn’t like women coming to the mainstream also has a role in the harassment faced by them, she added.
The Women’s Commission recently wrote to the State government to make police stations more women-friendly and create an awareness among sleuths on the necessity to be more empathetic while dealing with complaints of women, Josephine said.