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Women’s safety may be Achilles’ heel for Vasundhara Raje

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJAY BOHRA
Published : Aug 14, 2017, 2:01 am IST
Updated : Aug 14, 2017, 2:57 am IST

10 rape cases are reported daily in the state, only one accused among 10 is convicted.

Vasundhara Raje making a point at a rally. (Photo: PTI)
 Vasundhara Raje making a point at a rally. (Photo: PTI)

Jaipur: As leader of the Opposition, women's safety was a key poll issue for Vasundhara Raje Scindia in the last Assembly elections. "Congress ke raj mein, behen-betion ki izzat surakshit nahi hai (Honour of our sisters and daughters is not safe under Congress government)," she used to tell people in every single rally during her poll campaign.

Three years later, there has been no improvement in the situation. Crime rate has increased in Rajasthan, and to make matters worse, conviction rate is also constantly declining. Even the rate of filing charge sheets has fallen. In simple words, just a few cases reach the court, and even fewer result in a conviction.

On an average, 10 rape cases are reported every day in the state, but charge sheets filed only in less than 50 per cent cases and one among 10 accused in the cases gets convicted. In fact, this situation is contrary to what the BJP government had promised three years ago. It had set a target of overall 80 per cent conviction rate rather in cases of women atrocities it has fallen by three per cent.

The figures reveal a lot about how the police deal with crime against women, especially sexual offences. Despite having a woman chief minister in Rajasthan, insensitivity continues to remain to be the hallmark of the state police in cases of women's atrocities.

Another way of looking at the police functioning is the number of cases that are described as 'fake'. Nearly half the cases of crime like rape, attempt to rape, harassment, abduction and cruelty are closed on the pretext of them being 'fake' (Adum Vaku in police language). This trend of showing cases as false has gone up by 10 per cent in the last three years. From an average 37 per cent three years ago, it has risen to 48% during three years of the BJP government in the state.

Unfortunately, some instances of blackmailing too came in handy for the police to claim that a majority of the rape cases were false. Police said nearly 17 per cent drop in rape cases has been reported during the first six months of this year in comparison to the corresponding period for the last two years. This, according to the police, was a result of arrest of the gangs involved in blackmailing rich and influential people.

However, police have no answer to the high percentage of fake cases under various categories of harassment, cruelty by husband or relatives, and abduction. The fact is, for women who are victims of a crime, it comes as a two-fold blow when their complaint is looked at with suspicion. 

Tags: vasundhara raje, bjp government, women’s safety
Location: India, Rajasthan, Jaipur