NEW DELHI: UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s statement on the dismal state of law and order in Uttar Pradesh may have been in poor taste but it has a ring of truth. According to data, 50% of the complaints registered with the National Commission for Women (NCW) are from UP. Between January 2009 to date, NCW received 8,179 complaints of atrocities against women. Of these, 4,601 complaints are from UP.
The commission receives complaints of rape, dowry harassment, sexual harassment, molestation and domestic violence amongst other gender-related crimes.. UP tops the list with 4,601 complaints while Delhi is a distant second with 1,100 complaints followed by Rajasthan at 534.
Incidentally, the number of complaints in UP has been steadily increasing. In January 2009, the number of cases registered was 572 which nearly doubled to 1,012 in June 2009. July has already recorded 564 cases. According to the ministry of women and child development, crime against women is up by 31%.
AIDWA’s Sudha Sundharaman condemned Joshi’s statement and the political sparring between Congress and BSP saying that it trivialised the trauma of a rape victim. “This political upmanship underestimates the trauma that rape victims go through. Instead of these tiffs, the powers that be should address the issue of rehabilitation of rape victims,” she said.
Centre for Social Research director Ranjana Kumari said, “The real issue of security and safety of women has got lost. Instead of tightening the law and order machinery and enforcing law effectively, the UP CM is compensating with money. That cannot restore dignity of women. The discourse has become extremely indecent in UP.”
The National Crime Records Bureau supports UP’s lawless tag to some extent. Its 2007 report ranked the state second, after Andhra Pradesh in crimes against women.
NCW and the WCD ministry have been mulling over a scheme to provide compensation and relief to rape victims. In fact NCW had recently written to the PM asking for the scheme to be looked at as a priority.