Jammu and Kashmir has touched a new low when it comes to the safety of women across the three regions of the state. The Crime Branch of the police has released a new chronicle of atrocities against women during the year 2017 that shows a significant jump in sexual violence and other type of atrocities against women.
During 2016 the police had registered 2920 cases of rape, molestation, kidnapping and abduction, eve-teasing, dowry-death cases, and other atrocities against women. The new figures released by the police make for a grim reading; in 2017 the horrifying nature of sexual violence that the women of Kashmir are subjected to has shown an upward trend. The police say that it has recorded 3363 cases of sexual violence and other type of crime against women in Jammu and Kashmir.
The police statistics depict a wanton rise in acts of sexual cruelty that put the number of women raped in 2017 at 314 than 262 women raped in 2016. Much in the same way 1422 women complained of being subjected to acts of molestation in 2017, a jump of 189 cases.
Looking at the figures of sexual violence against women in Kashmir, the police records show that there were more than a thousand women who were molested and more than a hundred women who were raped in the Kashmir valley during the year 2017. Among the districts of the Kashmir valley, Srinagar and Kulgam have the dubious distinction of making their women feel unsafe. Srinagar tops the list when it comes to acts of molesting women, 292 cases, and Kulgam comes at top for cases of rape of women, 22.
The report goes on to portray a picture of freedom enjoyed by men who go to perpetrate such vile acts of sexual violence without having a worry in their minds that they could face punishment for the crimes. In Anantnag district 100 women have come forward and lodged complaints against men for molesting them. In Srinagar 14 women were subjected to rape and in Handwara, too, 14 women were raped in 2017.
In Anantnag 11 women were raped; in Kupwara 12 and in Budgam ten women were raped in 2017. From Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, six cases of rape have been registered in the crime branch’s – crime against women’s list. Five cases have been reported from Pulwama, four each from Bandipora, Baramulla and sopore. Three cases of rape have been reported from Awantipora, and two from Leh. No cases of rape have been reported from Shopian and Kargil for the year 2017.
As far as the cases of molestation are concerned, 155 cases of molestation have been reported from central Kashmir’s Budgam district, 99 from Kulgam, 74 from sopore and 72 from Ganderbal. Similarly, 66 cases of molestation have been reported from Baramulla, 61 from Handwara, 51 from Shopian, 47 from Bandipora, 42 from Awantipora, 32 from Pulwama, 30 from Kupwara, two from Leh and none from Kargil.