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25% rise in crimes against women, children in Mumbai in 2019-2020

While the number of other crimes saw a downward slope, the cases of molestation and rapes have increased despite the presence of Police on streets due to lockdown across the city.

25% rise in crimes against women, children in Mumbai in 2019-2020
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According to a study revealed by an NGO Praja Foundation, the number of crimes against women in Mumbai has increased by 25 per cent in 2019-2020 as compared to previous year’s figures. Praja Foundation has published a report on law and order and crime in Mumbai for the period 2019-20 on November 26.

As per the report, in the financial year 2019-20, over 904 cases of rape were reported while the corresponding figure of the previous year was 784 rape cases.

Meanwhile, in the year 2018-19, 2,533 cases of molestation were registered, as against 2,677 in 2019-20. The murders in the city were at 164 in 2019-20, according to the reports.

The report stated that sexual assault on children, which comes under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act had an alarming constitution as 61 per cent of victims were below 18 years of age.

In 2019, over 1,431 underage children had reported crime under the POCSO Act, wherein 628 and 710 children were subjected to rape and sexual assault respectively.

The report also states the probes pending across the courts in Mumbai — 94 per cent of the 23,791 cases related to crimes against women were pending in courts, while 92 per cent of the 8,126 cases of crime against children were pending in courts. While 89 per cent of the 4,250 cases under POCSO Act, too, were pending in courts.

Furthermore, Out of the 222 cases tried in 2019, only 20 per cent were finished within a year. According to the reports, section 35 of the POCSO Act states that the court should complete the trial within one year of cognisance of the offence.

However, there are 51,068 sanctioned posts in the Mumbai Police Force, of which 41,788 police are only working aggressively. The forensic lab is also understaffed, 177 fewer than the sanctioned posts. As a result, 64 per cent of crimes in Mumbai go unreported. 

While the other crimes saw a downward slope, the cases of molestation and rapes have increased despite the presence of Police on streets due to lockdown across the city, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

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