Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav’s earlier statement “boys will be boys” in the context of a rape case in the heartland of Uttar Pradesh, and that the death penalty for a rape is unfair had created uproar. Yadav was at it again last week when he commented that U.P has the lowest number of rape cases in the country.”You are talking about U.P. It has a population of 21 crore. If there is any place which has the lowest number of rape cases, it is U.P”.
So, how correct are these numbers and is he telling the truth? Let us look at the numbers from the latest report “Crime In India 2013” released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The total number of rape cases stood at 33,707 cases, up 32% from last year. We are going to look at the numbers on a per capita basis to adjust for population to get an accurate picture.
The data is largely skewed towards the North-east Indian states (barring Delhi) with Mizoram, Sikkim, emerging as the most unsafe states.
Uttar Pradesh does rank among the bottom five states when it comes to rape crimes. While it may not be correct to jump to the conclusion that Mulayam Singh is correct, let’s look at these numbers on a standalone basis. U.P’s reported rape crimes came in at 3,050 cases, making it the fourth most unsafe state in the country. This also means that there were 8 rape cases per day in the state.
But does this mean that U.P. is safe? Not really. According to Milind Mhaske of Mumbai-based Praja Foundation, a non-partisan, voluntary organisation,that works on urban and civic issues, “More than the hiding behind the rape statistics, our politicians should feel ashamed that such incidences are happening and in such a large number. The statistics reveal only a part of the real crime as a lot goes unreported. If at all anything needs to be debated on statistics than it should include number of cases and convictions in various kinds of crime; this may give a better perspective.”