How are we fair to fair sex?
Bihar-Jharkhand track record is dubious
BJ Mirror Correspondent
Bihar may trail many states on development indices, but stands ‘tall’ among the leading states when it comes to violence against women. As per Vandana Kinni, MD, Bihar Women Development Corporation (WDC), “56 per cent of women in the age-group of 15 to 49 are subjected to physical or sexual violence in Bihar against the national figure of 35per cent”. The track record of the tribal state of Jharkhand is no better.
The National Crime Record Bureau has recorded 2,544 cases of violence against women in Jharkhand during 2005. They include 753 rape cases, 293 molestation cases, 283 kidnapping cases and 257 dowry deaths.The latest report card of the Nitish government is silent on crime against women. However, the data procured by asocial activist Shiv Prakash Rai from the CID wing of the state police, through an RTI application, present an alarming rise in crime against women in Bihar during the last six years. The incidents rose to 1,856 dowry deaths and 1,307 cases of women’s kidnapping in 2010 from 1,009 dowry deaths and 756 kidnappings in 2004.
Meanwhile, experts working on women development said: “Bihar is one of the leading states in India when it comes to physical or sexual violence against women”. Even the state capital is not that safe for the fair sex. Sudden increase in criminal incidents against women has pushed its crime graph upward. At a recent seminar in Patna, held in coordination with the NGOs, Nidan and Action Aid, Kinni said: “Awareness among people is growing. It has and will play a constructive role in controlling atrocities against women. But still much needs to be done”. A whopping 58 per cent of women in Bihar are already mother by the time they attain the age of 19.
On the other hand, the Nitish report card boasted of fall in number of major crimes like murder and kidnap. “Police have been made more efficient, friendly and accountable than before and this has led to improvement in crime control and investigation”, said the report card. In 2004, the reported cases of murder went up to 3,861 which showed a declining trend from 2005 onwards and came down to 2,465 in the first nine months of current year. The incidents of kidnapping for ransom have come down from 411 to 42 during the same period.
Director-General of Police Abhayanand, however, considers the dowry-related cases not as an ‘organised crime’ but ‘a social problem’. He hastened to add that ‘the perpetrators of this crime should also be punished; this would prove a deterrent to others’. On the kidnapping of girls, the DGP said most of the cases turned out to be those of elopement. “Though parents know about the elopement, they report ‘kidnapping of minor’ to police. Under the law, police have to register the case on the basis of the statement of parents”,he asserted.