Delhi the most unsafe city for women in India, data reveals

Sexual assaults accounted for 7.4 per cent cases of violence against women in 2021

A roadside vendor packs onions in plastic bags as women shop at a weekly market in New Delhi, India. AP
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At least two minor girls were raped every day in New Delhi last year — making it the most unsafe city in India for women, new government figures show.

The National Crime Records Bureau on Monday released its latest data on nationwide crimes last year. This showed nearly 430,000 crimes against women, a 15 per cent increase in such offences on a year-on-year basis.

“The majority of cases under crime against women were registered under cruelty by husband or his relatives, followed by assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty, kidnapping and abduction of women,” the NCRB said in the report.

Sexual assaults accounted for 7.4 per cent cases of violence against women, with nearly 32,000 rapes reported in the country. Meanwhile, more than 28,800 cases of sexual abuse involving children were also reported.

Delhi recorded nearly 14,000 cases of crimes against women, an increase of 40 per cent compared with the previous year, the report said.

While more than 1,200 rapes were recorded, as many as 833 cases of child sexual abuse — the highest among the metropolitan cities in the country — were reported in New Delhi.

Mumbai, the financial capital, recorded more than 5,500 crimes against women.

Northern Uttar Pradesh, the most populated state in India, witnessed the highest number of cases with 56,083.

The crime rate registered per 100,000 women population was 64.5 in 2021, compared with 56.5 in 2020.

The data was released on a day when tensions were high in the eastern Jharkhand state after a man set ablaze a student after she snubbed his advances.

Kolkata in the east was found to be the safest city for women with 11 cases of rape.

The bureau also found that nearly 150,000 crimes against children were registered in 2021. These included kidnapping and abduction and child sexual abuse.

The bureau also found that nearly 30,000 murders took place in the country in the same period, with Uttar Pradesh recording the highest number at 3,700.

The motives behind the murders were disputes, personal enmity, vendetta and love affairs.

But suicides topped all the crimes in the country, with 120 deaths per million population, underscoring the toll of the pandemic on people's mental health.

Nearly 165,000 people killed themselves, a rise of 7.2 per cent from the previous year. Daily wagers had the highest rate of suicides among professions with 42,000 deaths.

Daily wagers, the majority of whom were migrant workers, were among the worst affected during the pandemic. They were suddenly rendered jobless and were forced to walk hundreds of miles to their villages after Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a sudden nationwide curfew to stop the spread of Covid-19 in 2020.

Suicide remains an offence in the Indian penal system but a Supreme Court ruling, added to India's mental health legislation in 2017, have made the crime redundant.

Updated: August 30, 2022, 3:27 PM