Woman locked inside toilet for over a year

A woman allegedly confined inside a toilet for over a year by her husband was recently rescued from Rishpur village in Haryana’s Panipat district. The case points to rising crimes against women in the country that has also been confirmed by the recent National Crime Bureau Report, writes Shveta Mishra

Though the husband of a woman, who was woman allegedly confined inside a toilet for over a year by him, claimed that the woman was mentally unstable, the Women Protection and Child Marriage Prohibition Officer Rajni Gupta, who led the rescue operation, said that the woman did not seem mentally unstable and her physical condition indicates she has been starved. “I received information that a woman was locked in the toilet for over a year. I come here with my team. When we reached here, we found that it was true. It seems that the woman had not eaten anything for many days,” she said, referring to the woman who was rescued from Rishpur village in Haryana’s Panipat district on October 15.

Rajni Gupta, who rescued her, added that they had spoken to the woman and the police will take further course of action. “It is being said that she is mentally unstable, but it is not true. We have talked to her and it was apparent that she is not mentally unstable. We cannot confirm whether she is mentally unstable or not, but she was locked in the toilet. We rescued her and washed her hair. We have filed a police complaint. Police will take action accordingly,” she added.

The police, meanwhile, said they would approach doctors to ascertain the mental status of the woman. “Rajni Gupta went to the village and rescued the woman who was locked by her husband Naresh for over a year. We have registered a complaint and we will take action after investigation. It is being said that the woman is mentally unstable. We will take the advice of the doctor and proceed further,” a police officer said

This points to how women are still treated in the country. Domestic violence against women figures as the top category of violence against women, according to data from the ‘Crimes in India — 2019’ report compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) which was released on September 29, 2020. 

India recorded an average of 87 rape cases daily in 2019 and overall 4,05,861 cases of crime against women during the year, a rise of over 7 per cent from 2018, and the latest government data released on September 29, 2020. 

A total of 32,033 cases of rape were lodged in 2019, which was 7.3 per cent of all crimes against women during the year, the data showed. In 2018, 33,356 rapes were recorded across the country, up from 32,559 in 2017, according to the data from corresponding years.

Majority of these cases under Indian Penal Code were registered under ‘cruelty by husband or his relatives’ (30.9 per cent) followed by ‘Assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty’ (21.8 per cent), ‘kidnapping and abduction of women’ (17.9 per cent), the NCRB data for 2019 showed. The crime rate registered per lakh women population stood at 62.4 in 2019 in comparison with 58.8 in 2018, it showed.

The Indian Penal Code and special and local laws in the country task the NCRB, which functions under the Union Home Ministry, with collecting and analyzing crime data as defined. 

India reported 4,05,861 cases of crimes against women in 2019.  From 2018, the rate of crime against women has risen by 7.3 per cent, with the country recording an average 87 rape cases every day in 2019. The crime bureau data also showed a significant rise in cases of crimes against children.

From 2018, crimes against children have gone up by 4.5 per cent in 2019. A total of 1.48 lakh cases of crime against children were registered in 2019. Of these, about 46.6 per cent were cases of kidnapping and 35.3 per cent cases were related to sexual offences. The NCRB collected data from 36 states and Union Territories and 53 metropolitan cities.

The home ministry said West Bengal did not share its latest data and its 2018 data has been used to arrive at national and city-wise figures. ‘Crime Rate’ is calculated by dividing the number of cases reported by the population size in lakhs. 

Out of the total crimes registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the women, the majority of the cases were registered under the ‘cruelty by husband or his relatives’ at 31.9 per cent. This was followed by ‘assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty’ at 27.6 per cent. The cases of the ‘kidnapping and abduction of women stood at 22.5 per cent and the rape cases comprised 10.3 per cent of the overall crime figures.

Spike in Haryana

In a span of two years, the cases of crime against women have shot up by 45 per cent in Haryana, as per latest figures released by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB).

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar attributed the rise in numbers to more women freely lodging their complaints after opening of 34 women police stations in Haryana.

“Earlier due to the lack of dedicated women police stations, the victims did not have the courage to report the crime against them but now with these police stations, the victims are coming forward to report every crime.”

He even suggested the NCRB conduct a survey to know how many people were satisfied with the registration of complaints by the police.

The Chief Minister said that the police officers have also been directed to register the complaint of every crime reported to them and ensure that justice is delivered to every victim. 

On the increasing number of cases of sexual violence against women, Manohar Lal Khattar said that the families, NGOs, and other organizations for imparting the moral value of respecting women among the youth should make efforts.

However, Haryana Congress President and Rajya Sabha MP Kumari Selja said that ever since the formation of the present government, crimes against women have increased manifold and NCRB data proves the same. She alleged that the Haryana government has neither a policy for women safety nor any intention to control crimes against women. 

Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged, “the incompetence of BJP government in Haryana has led the peaceful state in getting the dubious distinction of a crime hub”.  “Haryana recorded 1,08,212 cases of crimes in one year only and got the dubious distinction of recording the third highest crime rate in the country with 381 cases reported per 1 lakh of population — far higher than the crime rates in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Crime incidents have increased for the fifth consecutive year in a row,” he said. He opined that as many as 1,140 cases of murder, 1,296 of rape, 155 of gang rape, and 5,070 of kidnapping and abduction were registered in Haryana.