Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 23
There is no letup in crime against women even during Covid lockdown in Haryana. The state, which is infamous for atrocities against women (as it had third highest rate in crime against women in 2018 in the country, as per the NCRB report), has recorded 66 rapes, 62 cases of abduction and 142 incidents of molestation in April this year.
The crimes have happened despite there being restrictions on movement of people and strict surveillance. Though, it is still lower than the monthly average of last year in the state but as far as dowry deaths are concerned there is a rise.
The state has recorded 27 dowry deaths in April, while the monthly average for the last year was 20.7 (as per information uploaded on Haryana Police’s website). It is a rise of 30.4 per cent. Even during April 2019, lesser cases were recorded (22).
Crime against women
Among 66 rapes, there are 17 gangrapes, 45 rapes and four incidents of elopement with rape in the state. Nuh is the worst among all districts as it has recorded 19 incidents, with eight gangrapes, 10 rapes and one case of elopement with rape.
In one of the incidents in Panipat, a 21-year-old woman alleged that she was gangaped by four men, after luring her for help in crossing Yamuna to enter UP. Her husband was in UP. In Jind, three youths, including a 16-year-old, allegedly gangraped a 14-year-old girl in a school building.
In 142 incidents of molestation, Nuh and Rohtak are the worst with 16 cases each.
As many as 62 incidents of abduction of women have taken place. Here too, Nuh leads with 16 cases, followed by Kaithal with eight incidents.
Five cases of sexual harassment have also been recorded with two each in Hisar and Jhajjar, and one in Fatehabad.
There are 90 cases of dowry disputes (Section 498-A of the IPC) with 27 alone from Nuh, followed by 11 in Gurugram.
Nuh also recorded five incidents of dowry deaths (Section 304-B of the IPC) which is the highest among all districts while two cases each are registered in Faridabad, Panchkula, Panipat, Palwal, Rewari and Yamunanagar.
“Despite such difficult circumstances due to Covid when people are struggling to get even food, crime against women in Haryana is a constant factor. It is a serious issue,” said Prof Rajesh Gill, author of ‘Gender, Culture and Honour: a Gender Audit of Punjab and Haryana’, and faculty member at Department of Sociology, Panjab University (PU).
On dowry deaths, she said, “There used to be space for women. But due to lockdown, families have come together. It is the women on whom the whole burden lies -- from taking care of house to cooking food. There is frustration, too much proximity between family members and men have nothing to do, which are the reasons for domestic violence and dowry deaths. Alcoholism in men is also one of the contributing factors.”
“Women are suffering as they are constantly locked with their perpetrators during lockdown. We have specifically started a WhatsApp number (95600 80115) for complaints about crime against women, specifically domestic violence, during lockdown,” said Preeti Bharadwaj, Vice Chairperson, Haryana State Commission for Women.
“In dowry disputes, we have been helping aggrieved women to take legal or police help, if she needs. Or we try to counsel husbands. However, we always try for an amicable settlement,” said Priya, who is a counsellor at Haryana Women Helpline-181.
Crime against Women in April
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