There is a steady increase in women-related crimes across the state and that Assam has recorded 71,061 cases of violence against women in the last 6 years.
Making the statement in the state assembly on December 20, Saikia quoted government figures mentioned in the NCRB report that indicated a rise in the number of women-related crimes in 2021 compared to 2020.
“From January 1 to December 31, 2021, 26,243 crimes were committed against women in the state. Altogether 21,914 crimes against women were committed in 2020. According to the data, the incidence of rape and kidnapping of women and girls in the state doubled in 2021 compared to 2020,” he added.
Saikia raised concern that the number of women trafficking cases in the state has quadrupled in the past year.
“There were 1,736 cases of rape in the state in 2020 and 3,747 cases in 2021. Similarly, in 2020, 4,792 women and girls were abducted in the state in contrast, crime increased to 7,691 in 2021,” he said.
He further said that in 2020, there were 53 cases of trafficking in women while in 2021, there were 218 cases and 124 cases of dowry-related murder. In 2020, 11,389 cases of husband abuse were reported in the state, up from 14,452 in the previous year.
Saikia said that according to the data from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2021 rape, trafficking, dowry death, abuse in the hands of husbands, and kidnapping of women and girls rose to 1,20,926 cases. In 2021 12,831 rape cases, 534 cases of trafficking of women, 897 dowry death cases, and 35,603 cases of kidnapping of women came to light in the state.
Explaining the NCRB report Saikia said that Assam ranked second in the country in terms of rape cases.
“Last year, about 4,000 rape cases were registered in Assam which is the second highest among the states in the country. And Assam is the first state with such a small population to have such whooping figures,” Saikia raised concern.
Saikia further said that Assam has been ranked among the top five states in the country for cybercrime and fraud.
“A total of 4,846 cases of cyber crime were registered in the state last year. Assam police filed charge sheets in only 1,693 cases against the total number of cases mentioned above,” he said.
According to the data, against 1,120 cyber crime cases registered in Assam in 2017, police arrested 1,261 people and filed charge sheets in only 179 cases, he said.
Saikia further raised concern about data released by National Family Health Survey (NHFS) in December 2021 saying that gender-based violence showed an increase in crimes against women in Assam.
“According to the report, more than 30% of women in Assam are victims of domestic violence, and about 8% of young women risk their lives as victims of sexual violence,” he avowed.
Saikia also suggested steps to prevent crimes committed against women.
He further said that the establishment of women protection committees at panchayat, district, and state levels, expansion of 181 Women's Helpline to all districts of Assam; and implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Assam Witch Hunting (Prevention, Prevention, and Protection) Act, 2018 and Sexual Harassment of Women in the Workplace (Prevention, Prevention, and Redressal) Act, 2013 and amended State Victim Compensation Scheme would be helpful.
"State policy with a dedicated task force to tackle crimes against women is the need of the hour. There was plenty of room for new laws to be enacted in Assam to prevent crimes against women,” he said.
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