Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, while launching an attack on the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh under the Akhilesh Yadav Government, said: “There were over 20,000 cases of atrocities against women in UP alone”.
Earlier, IndiaSpend had reported that UP, Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh account for 84% of total complaints with National Commission for Women (NCW).
We will now look at National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data to see whether there is any truth in what Modi said in UP on Sunday.
We see that in 2012, UP recorded 23,569 crimes against women – an increase of 12% from 2007 when total crimes against women in UP was 20,993.
Modi could have been referring to the figures in 2013 for which data has not yet been published by NCRB. However, the number of crimes against women has not dropped below the 20,000-mark for the last five years, and has also been increasing steadily. Considering this, it is likely that crimes against women could be more than 20,000 cases in 2013 as well.
In 2012, the most number of crimes against women in UP were on account of cruelty by husband or relatives. While cases charged under cruelty by husbands/relatives and Dowry Prohibition Act accounted for 34.6% of the crimes against women in the state, kidnapping & abduction accounted for 33.5% of the crimes against women.
The issue of cruelty by husband and his relatives is something we had looked at in an earlier report, and concluded that cruelty at home is the fastest growing crime against women, which can be seen in UP as well.
If we look at the states with the highest number of crimes against women and compare the crime rate (per million women), West Bengal has the highest number of crimes against women and also the highest crime rate. West Bengal is followed by Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan in crime rate. UP has the lowest crime rate among the top five states.
So, we see that in U.P, on an average, more than 20,000 cases of crimes against women are recorded every year, and the statement by Modi about crimes against women is true. And it is also true that the state has the lowest crime rate among the top 5 states.