Stop crime against women, Akhilesh to write to village heads

70 per cent of cases in past one week are from rural UP

More than 1,300 of the 1,723 rape and attempt to rape cases registered in Uttar Pradesh in the last 10 months are from villages and small towns, prompting a worried chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to write to all panchayat heads in the state.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had clearly not looked at Uttar Pradesh when he made his comment that there are more rapes in India than Bharat.

The letter, which is currently being drafted and is likely to go out by month-end, will ask panchayats not only to educate girls and women but also to tackle reckless young men, a senior official said.

With the global spotlight on the vulnerability of women in India, after the December 16 Delhi gang rape the Uttar Pradesh government is also examining its own record.Women’s helpline 1090 has reported a staggering 200,000 complaints in just four months. Navneet Sikera, deputy inspector general of police (DIG) and in-charge of the helpline, said the crimes against women had nothing to do with geography.

Of the 4,917 rapes committed in Uttar Pradesh in past three years, more than 3,421 have been reported from villages. Conviction rates are low. Official statistics reveal that 13,263 cases of rape are being heard in various sessions courts across the state. In the last three months, 563 have concluded with 40 percent accused convicted of the crime.

In many cases, officials say, the eyewitness turns hostile, leading to the acquittal of the accused. In the last one week alone, 70 per cent of the rapes, gang rapes and harassment reported with the state police have come from villages and small towns.

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