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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Shocking and disgusting! Odisha prominently figures in the top -10 infamous states in the country where the crime rate against women is very high.

All posturing by the powers that be in the State about Odisha being a safe place for women fell like nine pins, when the Crime in India - 2017 report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released Monday brings to glare the murkier statistics.

And this is seemingly a challenge for both the political executive and the State police. Because, you name any sections under the IPC crime against women, the sad fact is, the State ranks high in all lists.

And the devil lies more in the details.  

Disrobing : In using criminal force on women with an intent to disrobe (Sections 354 B IPC), Odisha topped the country with a massive 2,457 cases and the crime rate stood astonishingly high at 11.1. The curious fact here is Odisha is maintaining this dubious 'crown' since year 2014. And the political and police authorities seemingly have failed to eliminate the rot. Lest, the cases would not have moved up from 1,142 in 2014 to 2,457 in 2017.

Outraging Modesty: In assault on women with an intent to outrage her modesty (under sec 354 IPC), Odisha registered a whopping 9,132 incidents with an astronomical crime rate of 42.9, the dubious topper in the country. In absolute numbers, Odisha ranked at number 4 in the country.

Sexual Harrassment: Odisha had recorded 1,134 incidents of sexual harassment with a high crime rate of 5.3, the second highest in the country. In absolute numbers, the State stood number 4 in the country. And the big fact is such gory acts were perpetuated mostly on roads or public places and shelter homes. In sexual harassment in shelter homes, Odisha is almost 3rd in the country after UP, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

Voyeurism & Stalking: The State had registered a high of 257 stalking cases and 64 voyeurism (Means watching, capturing or disseminating image of a woman engaged in a private act in circumstances where she would usually have the expectation of not being observed either by the perpetrator or by any other person at the behest of the perpetrator) cases. The State figured among the dubious-10 at 7th and 8th slots, respectively.

Dowry Deaths: Odisha had registered a total of 326 dowry deaths in 2017. The State is ranked 6th in the evil chart nationally led by UP.

Rapes: Odisha saw a massive 2,070 rape cases in 2017, almost six rapes a day. With a high crime rate of 9.7, the State stood at 5th in the infamy list led by Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam and Kerala.

Why the crime rate is important? It shows total crimes vis-a-vis the population of the targeted group (here Women). The simple explanation is nearly 10 women, including minor girl children, per 1 lakh female population in Odisha become victim of the ghastly crime of rape. The national average of mere five tells the tale of enormity.

Why the vicious crime cycle perpetuates in Odisha? Acquittals in an overwhelming 4,669 cases and conviction in mere 372. The conviction rate in crime against women is mere 7.4 per cent in Odisha - fifth lowest in country. And pendency rate is 94.7 per cent.

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