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Are Delhi Police’s Claims of Low Crime Rate Against Women True?

While Delhi Police says crimes against women have reduced, what does ground reality suggest?

Published
India
4 min read
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As the whole country is up in arms against the recent cases of rape in Kathua and Unnao, a report by Delhi police, to the surprise of many, has revealed that the cases of crime against women in the national capital has decreased in the last three years.

Though the data compiled by Delhi police reflects only a marginal decrease in the number of rape cases – from 2,199 in 2015 to 2,146 in 2017 – but cases pertaining to assault on women with ‘intention to outrage their modesty’ have decreased drastically, from 5,367 in the year 2015 to 3,422 in 2017.

In the same epoch, cases related to abduction of women have seen a fall of 40 percent.

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AAP Takes Credit for Reduced Crimes Against Women in Delhi

Deaths due to dowry related cases have also gone down by 25 percent, decreasing from 162 in 2016 to 120 in 2017.

While many activists and experts are raising questions about the credibility of such figures, Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) has credited the decline in numbers to ‘perfect policies’ for protection of women implemented by the Delhi Government.

The decrease in cases of crime against women is a direct result of fear instilled in the minds of criminals due to perfect policies of our government.
Madan Lal , senior AAP leader & MLA, Kasturba Nagar

Lal, who is also the former president of Saket Court Bar Association, believes the government has set the ground rules; if someone commits a crime, there is no escape.

“We have made sure that justice is delivered at the earliest,” he adds.

Six years after the rape and death of 23-year-old Nirbhaya in Delhi, which led to widespread protests and demonstrations, apparently shaking the ‘conscience’ of the country, very little seems to have changed on the ground.

Women rights activist, Shehla Rashid Shora asserts that no government or political party can take credit for the minor decrease in crimes against women. Citing the example of the Mahmood Farooqui case, she says: “I'm not sure if reporting necessarily leads to conviction.”

Ironically, many legislators from Delhi itself don’t believe the figures put out by Delhi police.

Badana Kumari, AAP MLA from Shalimar Bagh frankly admits that the crimes against women have not decreased even in her party’s tenure. “Politics apart, as far as I know, there has been no decrease in the rate of crime against women. Fear has engulfed the women folk so much that they find it hard to venture outside even during the day now,”she says.

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Has AAP Lived Up to Its Promises?

However, castigating AAP for not trusting the figures of a ‘credible’ public institution like the Delhi Police, BJP legislators are keen on taking credit for decreasing crime rates.

“All efforts of Delhi Police have borne fruit. Since Delhi Police works under the able leadership of the Central government, it is due to their policies that crime against women are decreasing, not only in Delhi but across the country,” says Jagdish Pradhan, BJP MLA from Mustafabad . Praising Modi government for rejuvenating the Delhi police force he adds, “Since Modi government took charge, corruption within Delhi Police has decreased.”

On the contrary, Shehla blames political parties for appropriating women’s rights issues for their own interests.
Whatever advances we’ve made are due to the relentless efforts of activists who have done public advocacy around gender issues. Politicians have only appropriated these struggles as slogans, but they haven’t brought in any structural changes to further women’s empowerment.
Shehla Rashid

“Women's representation in legislatures remains abysmal. Public transport has not been made any safer for women. The PM still follows abusive trolls on Twitter. Who will sensitise politicians? Delhi HC said that a "feeble no" doesn't count as a No. This sets a very wrong precedent,” she adds.

To ensure women’s safety, AAP, in one of the key poll promises, had assured installation of CCTV cameras in all public spaces. After three years in power, the project is yet to develop. In a typical blame game, which has now become the hallmark of Centre-State relationship in Delhi, AAP MLAs accuse the LG’s office for obstructing Delhi government’s initiatives of installing CCTV cameras and recruitment of marshals in buses.

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Political Blame Games

“The government has given a contract of installing 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras and allocated 350 crore for the project. Even though there are deliberate attempts by the LG’s office to impede our project, we have begun work and will ensure it is completed within the stipulated time,” says Lal.

Blaming AAP of playing ‘politics of convenience’, Vijender Gupta, BJP MLA from Rohini, believes whenever something good happens, AAP government leaves no stone unturned to take credit.

“On the contrary, when there is a need to take moral responsibility for their failures, everything becomes ‘political vendetta’ or conspiracy by the Centre.”

(Hanan Zaffar is Editor, ‘Muslim Mirror' and 'CricSwarm'. Currently pursuing a masters from Jamia Millia Islamia, he has written extensively on politics and sports for national and international organisations like The Diplomat and The Citizen. He tweets @HananZaffar. Amanjeet Singh is a freelance journalist who has reported for various organisations like The Citizen. He is currently pursuing a masters in convergent journalism from Jamia Millia Islamia. He tweets @s_amanjeet. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the authors own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same. )

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