Crime against women in the state of Assam are increasing day by day and although there are laws to prevent such crimes the cases are rising. The Assam State Commission for Women (ASCW) has received various cases from well to do family as women do not come out to raise voice against it.
Crimes like rape, sexual harassment, acid attacks are the most heinous crime and there are laws to prevent such crime but as most of the people of the weaker section are illiterate these crimes seems to be more against such girls. “The crimes are increasing due to lack of awareness and it is due to the non-availability of funds. We received so many cases and in most of the cases we witnessed that it is only due to the lack of awareness that such crimes take place. We want to conduct seminars, awareness programmes district wise, counselling etc. but as we have not enough funds we cannot conduct such programmes. Manpower is also one of the problems for which we cannot conduct the programmes,” said an official of ASCW.
It may be mentioned that according to a report of the Assam Government revealed last year 12, 750 cases of crime against women were registered in the state in the year 2017-18.
Reports say that in 2017-18, 1,751 cases of rape, 539 cases of murder and 10,460 dowry crimes have been reported in the state. In 2016-17, 1,571 cases of rape, 490 murders and 9,629 dowry related crimes have been registered in the state. This statistics reveals that the cases against women crime is rising at an alarming rate.
In 2016, the total number of crimes recorded in Assam was 1,07,022 which went up to 1, 11, 118 in 2017.
The crime against women pose a huge challenge to the state and violence is seen in different forms and its places of occurrence may extend from home to the community and beyond to the state machinery. It is very sad to know that 29, 223 incidents of violence against women were reported from various parts of the state from 2016-18.
As per the latest data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Assam has recorded the second highest crime rate against women in India in the year 2016. Among states, crimes against women were reported to be highest in Delhi (160.4 crimes against a population of one lakh), followed by Assam (131.3 crimes) and Odisha (84.5). Nagaland has recorded the lowest rate of crimes against women in the country (9.2 crimes) ranking 36th in the table, where only 53% charge-sheeted.
Women are also harassed sexually at workplace, for which the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 came into force on April 22, 2013. She said that there are even cases of molestation in workplace in Guwahati and they molest in such a way that one couldn’t make out the intention of it. “It is not that the crimes take place only in the rural areas but in city also these crimes are more and cases of domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape etc. are more and it is only because that woman also does not come forward to raise their voice. Women feel insecure to expose their problems and in most cases I even found that women will tolerate the torture but do not want to be separate from their husband only because they are shy or insecure thinking that how will they face the society and family members,” as informed by the ASCW official.
Trafficking, dowry, child marriage etc. are another crime which is increasing at an alarming rate and the cases are more among the educated people as well. The people of Assam are most vulnerable for crimes as it has many poor people and some of the reasons that trafficking mostly happens from the state because of illiteracy, natural calamities like flood, poverty etc. As the state has become a big hub of trafficking with hundreds of children missing it is very important to have an action plan with definitive role, responsibility and accountability of government departments on trafficking.