Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Rise in cases registered under POCSO in Mumbai

DNA: Mumbai: Tuesday, May 22, 2018.                 
The city, it seems, is not as safe for children as you would wish it to be. After brouhaha over series of incidents over cruelty on children across the country, there is some bad news from the city too. There is a jump in the number of cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) as per information provided under RTI.
From 494 cases that were registered between April '16 to March '17, the figures have jumped to 596 only in seven months of September '17 to March '18. The Mumbai police, while providing information, stated that it was asked to compile the figures only from September 2017 onwards and hence it could not provide information from April '17 onwards. This when it had given information about the previous year to the applicant.
The information was provided to RTI applicant Chetan Kothari. Kothari had also sought details on gang rape cases registered, cases of rape and kidnapping and those missing. As per the information provided, in the 596 cases registered between April '17 to March '18, the number of victims stood at 602. This was more than 509 victims in April '16 to March '17 in which 499 people were arrested. The number of people arrested during September '17 to March '18 was not provided for this year.
"Its good that cases are being reported, but rise in the number of victims is worrisome. Now it is on police, hospitals, prosecution and judiciary to work together and ensure that victim gets justice. Sooner people are convicted, the number will fall. Some months ago we had a workshop with some judges and we asked them to expedite the cases so that judgements are given soon," Santosh Shinde, member, Maharashtra State Child Rights Commission.
According to figures provided, there were nine gang rape cases registered between April '17 to March '18. Cases of rape and kidnapping in the same period stood at 802 and 2,169. That of people gone missing stood at 11,864. Of these, the number of women was higher at 6,246 while of men was 5,618.
Most women in the age group of 16 to 25 went missing. The police, however, managed to trace a number of them while some were found dead. Those who continued to be missing were 816 men and 1,881 women.