Crimes against women rising in Jharkhand


Ranchi : Crimes against women are on the rise in Jharkhand – the state saw 270 dowry-related deaths last year. But the state women's commission says it simply does not have the wherewithal to help victims.

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According to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the total number of crimes against women in 2006 was 3,074, compared with 2,832 in 2005 was 2,547 in 2004. Till June this year nearly 1,800 cases had already been registered.

The crimes include murder, dowry death, dowry torture, rape, molestation, abduction and killing after being branded a witch.

A total of 270 women were killed for dowry in 2006 – the number was 232 and 259 respectively in 2005 and 2004 . So far this year, 82 cases have been reported.

The number of rape cases registered in the state in 2006 was 799 – it was 779 and 642 respectively in 2005 and 2004. And till June this year, the number of rape cases registered was 324.

Around 435 abductions were reported in 2006, whereas the number was 395 and 365 respectively in 2005 and 2004 . As many as 166 cases were registered in 2006 for branding women as witches, 131 in 2005 and 118 in 2004. Till June this year, 42 cases have been reported.

The state women's commission was constituted last year but it lacks basic infrastructure like vehicles, telephones and staff to help victims.

"Without infrastructure, we feel handicapped. We try our best to help the women and sort out their problems but the shortcomings come in our way," said commission chairperson Laxmi Singh.

Police officials say witchcraft cases are a social issue and only awareness can solve the issue.

"We need to create awareness among the people to minimise the number of cases related to witchcraft," said R.C. Kaithal, additional director of police, CID.