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No end to incidents of violence against women, ‘We are taking women cases on priority’: SSP Srinagar

Srinagar, Aug 11: Kashmir has seen an increasing number of incidents of violence against women over the last few years.

In the male-dominated society, women find it hard to report crimes against them at police stations, and in most cases prefer to remain silent.

According to the reports, there has been sharp increase in violence against women in the form of dowry deaths, acts of sexual harassment, torture, rapes, and domestic violence in the valley.

Amongst the all districts of Kashmir division, Srinagar district has the highest rate of violence against women. However, in the Jammu division, Jammu district has the highest rate of violence against women.

There hardly passes a day in the Kashmir valley when people do not listen to the sad news of violence against women. The social media platforms like Facebook, whatsapp, twitters are always abuzz with violence related news of women.

“The women are working shoulder to shoulder with the men in all sectors. Their contribution in agriculture, horticulture, small-scale industries, factories, household chores are visible to everyone and everywhere in the society. Although, awareness programmes for elimination of violence against women are being conducted in every nook and corner of the Union territory and many stringent laws have been enacted against women violence but the graph of cruelty and violence against women still have surged very high in Kashmir valley especially in Srinagar district,” a government school teacher, Mehmooda (Name changed) said.

She said that a few percentage of women report their crimes and violence but unfortunately, they later have to face many hurdles like financial problems, lack of fast track courts for speedy redress of their grievances’ and with the result, they give up or withdraw the case.

According to media reports, about 86% women who experience violence never seek help and 77% of the victims do not even mention the incidents to anyone and among the 14.3% of victims who seek help, only 7% reach out to relevant authorities’ like police, doctors, lawyers or social service organisations.

As per the police details, Srinagar district reported seven rape cases in 2020, 21 cases in 2021, 14 cases in 2022, and five cases registered so far in 2023.

There were 42 kidnapping of women cases in 2020, 83 cases in 2021, and 116 cases in 2022, and 36 cases registered so far in 2023.

There were 187 cases of molestation in 2020, 204 cases in 2021, 227 cases in 2022.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar Rakesh Balwal said that People who are victims are coming forward and filing complaints.

“We are taking women’s cases on priority. We take swift action against the accused and try to get justice for women folk. People who are victims are coming forward and filing complaints,” the SSP said.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report says that there were 64 lakh women in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the 2011 census, and the crime rate per lakh population in 2021 stood at 61.6. There were 315 cases of rape, 1,414 incidents of an attempt to rape, and 14 dowry deaths reported in 2021, and in 91.4 per cent of cases, the accused were known to the victim. Around 1,851 cases of assault attacks on women with the intention to outrage their modesty.

Meanwhile as per the media reports the Jammu and Srinagar districts of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed the highest number of overall crime cases.

A senior police official said there were many factors responsible for the highest rate of crime in Jammu and Srinagar districts.

“Both these districts are the most populated in J&K. People from other areas and states also come to these districts for employment, and many times, they, too, get involved in crimes,” the official said.

The highest number of cases has been related to rioting, burglary, and molestation, cruelty by husband, assault on public servant, attempt to murder, cheating, stabbing, and eve teasing.

“There are some crimes, which are increasing . Police are dealing with such crimes, but it is also the responsibility of society to reduce the number of crimes in the region,” the official added.

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