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NCRB 2018 Big Breaking: Odisha rapes down 52% in 2018 courtesy a sleight of hand!

Odisha clubbed girl child rapes under SLL, rather than under IPC. Since majority of rape cases were registered under POCSO Act, the rape count under IPC looks misleading. Odisha tops country in child porn & viral sex videos

Bhubaneswar:  Odisha shows the way how statistics can be made pliable. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2018 report released today shows rapes in Odisha down by a whopping nearly 53 per cent.

The total rape count in Odisha in 2018 stood at 923 vis-a-vis 2,070 in 2017. The NCRB report further counted only 37 girls below 18-years age as rape victims in the State in year 2018.

Significantly, tabling a white paper in State Assembly, the White Paper counted the total rapes in Odisha in 2018 at 2,502. But the data tabled in Assembly shows a wide variance with NCRB rape data in 2018, when NCRB formulates its report based on Odisha police data or information.

Ron DeLegge II, author of book Gents with No Cents, had once said 99 percent of all statistics only tell 49 percent of the story. And the NCRB statistics on Odisha Rapes did just that.

An analysis of NCRB rape data unravels very big. A dig bit deeper throws how statistics can be made pliable. Crime against children like rapes are mandated to be registered under IPC (Indian Penal Code), and not under Special Local Laws (SLL).

Odisha did just the opposite under the guise of POCSO. Since POCSO (Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences) Act comes under SLL, and as rape cases of girl child were registered under POCSO Act, the rape count of girl children were clubbed under the SLL crime. Result: Rapes registered under IPC in State saw over 52 per cent drop.

Consider this. Girl child rape victims in Odisha registered under the Section 4 & 6 of POCSO Act or POCSO Act (Section 4 & 6) r/w (read with) Section 376 IPC, which means section that prescribed punishment for rape, stood at a massive 1,431. In rape victim count under POCSO Act, Odisha ranked 5th in country. And with a rate of crime of 6.4, the State was ranked 6th in the country in 2018.  

*The Big disconcerting fact is Odisha tops country by virtue of registering  a high of 333 cases under Use of Child Pornography or storing child pornography material. With 333 victims, the crime rate in State is estimated at 1.5

And in cases registered under Section 8 & 10 of POCSO Act or POCSO Act (Section 8 & 10) r/w Section 354 IPC, which means using criminal force to assault women with an intent to outrage modesty, Odisha recorded 95 girl child victims in 2018.

The POCSO Act numbers showed how  the menace of sexual assault on girl children in Odisha is rising alarmingly. However, the big handicap here is the POCSO data cannot be compared with child rape data of 2012, as the Act came into force in November 2012. Under POCSO, a child is described as one below 18-years age.

Other mega indications in the NCRB 2018 report are: Odisha figured among the dubious -10 states in country that have high incidences of crime against women.

*State accounts 5.4 per cent of crime against women cases in the country. In crime rate, State ranked number 3; whereas in absolute number Odisha ranked at number 4.

*In Cyber crimes pertaining to women, Odisha 2nd in country after Assam. With 208 cases in 2018 and harbouring a crime rate of 0.9, Odisha is next to Assam. The biggest cyber crime is circulation of sexually explicit material, which is infamously known in Odisha as viral sex videos. And the shameful home-truth is Odisha topped the country in 2018

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