NEW DELHI: As the world continues to debate the authenticity of the "Thomson Reuters Foundation survey" which declared India as the world's most dangerous country for women, the centre on Tuesday told the parliament that 53 cases of rape of foreigners were registered in the country between 2014-2016.
Responding to a question on the issue, Union Home Minister for State Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told the Lok Sabha that a total of 76 arrests were made in these 53 cases but just one person was convicted. Ahir said 22 cases of rape of foreigners were registered in 2014 in which 38 people were arrested but none was convicted.
In 2015, a total of 12 cases were registered in which seven people were arrested and one person was convicted. In 2016, he said, a total of 19 cases were registered in which 31 people were arrested but no one was convicted.
The minister, however, assured the parliament that the government has taken several steps to increase safety of women in the country such as introduction of a 24*7 countrywide helpline number and introduction of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 that has strengthened the legal framework against rapes.
He also informed the parliament about a new portal that has been created to deal exclusively for Cyber-Crime against women and children. The minister also said that the government was working on developing a national database on sexual offenders that would track sexual offenders across the country and therefore, will lead to better investigation in sexual assault cases.
The minister also said that the centre issues advisories to states and union territories from time to time to take measures for preventing crimes against women, stressing on mandatory registration of FIRs, providing on-line complaint filing system etc.
"Government has approved safe-city projects for 8 cities to put in place comprehensive infrastructure, technological and community-based interventions for women safety. Government has undertaken a project for developing an Emergency Response Support System based on a Pan-India 24X7 Helpline Number 112, which is accessible through call/SMS/email/panic button etc," Ahir added.
The government has rejected claims made by the Thomson Reuters Foundation survey that engaged about 550 experts on women's issue for its survey. The survey conducted online and by phone declared India as the least safe country for women, followed by war-torn Afghanistan and Syria, Somalia and Saudi Arabia.