Are Women Safe In Odisha? Two Crimes Per Hour & Rising

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Bhubaneswar: Minister of State for Home D S Mishra told the Odisha Assembly in July that the state saw a rise in rape and murder cases in 2018 compared to the previous year, but he refused to agree with the Opposition’s assertion that the overall crime rate had reached alarming proportions.

The annual Crime in India Report 2017 published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Monday, however, presents a very disturbing trend for the state.

According to the latest NCRB data, Odisha reported 55 crimes against women on an average daily in 2017. This mean, more than two cases per hour.

As alarming it may sound, Odisha is only second to Assam in crimes against women. While 17,200 cases were registered in 2015 and 17,837 cases in 2016, the state recorded a crime rate of 94 (94 complaints per one lakh population) in 2017 with 20,098 cases.

In 2017, Odisha registered almost six rape cases a day. With 2,070 cases, it stood fourth in the country after Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

In 1,061 cases, the offenders were known to victims and 853 rapes were committed on the pretext of marriage. As many as 1,297 girls were victims of rape making Odisha the third in the country in this list after Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Since 2014, Odisha has earned the dubious distinction of reporting maximum number of cases where criminal force was used on women with an intent to disrobe them. And 2017 was no different as it topped again with 2,457 cases with the crime rate astonishingly high at 11.1. There has been a rise in such cases from 1,142 in 2014 to 2,457 in 2017.

A total of 9,132 cases of assault on women with intent to outraging her modesty with an astronomical crime rate of 42.9 were reported in 2017. With 1,285 girls below 18 years and 785 women above 18 years being sexually assaulted that year, Odisha ranked fourth in the country after Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

In sexual harassment, the state again stood at four in India with 1,134 incidents with most cases being reported on roads or public places and shelter homes.

Odisha is third in the country after Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh in sexual harassment at shelter homes.

Among other crimes, the highest number of complaints (2,525) registered was related to cruelty by husband. It was followed by kidnapping (2,773), rape (2,070) and dowry deaths (365).

The state recorded 2,316 dowry cases and 23 cyber crimes against women.

The low disposal rate with 90095 cases pending trial at the end of the year has only made things worse. While the pendency rate is 94.7 per cent, the rate of conviction in Odisha is mere 7.4 per cent, which is fifth lowest in the country.

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