NEW DELHI: Nearly a month after a Thomson Reuters Foundation survey declared India as the world’s most dangerous country for women, the government on Tuesday said 53 rape cases involving foreigners were registered between 2014 and 2016. Union Home Minister for State Hansraj Gangaram Ahir informed the Lok Sabha that 76 arrests were made in these 53 cases but only one person was convicted. When it came to the 22 rape cases registered in 2014, 38 people were arrested but none convicted. The next year a total of 12 cases were registered in which seven were arrested and one person was convicted. In 2016, Ahir said, a total of 19 cases were registered in which 31 people were arrested but none convicted.
The government has taken several steps to increase women’s safety such as introduction of a 24x7 helpline number and introduction of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance that has strengthened the legal framework against rapes, he said, adding that a new portal was launched to deal exclusively for cyber crime against women and children.
Similarly, the government was working on developing a national database that would track sexual offenders across the country and lead to better investigation in sexual assault cases. Ahir informed the House that the Centre issues advisories to states and union territories from time to time to take measures for prevention crimes against women, stressing on mandatory registration of FIRs, providing on-line complaint filing system etc.
“The government has approved Safe City projects for eight cities to put in place comprehensive infrastructure, technological and community based interventions for women safety. It 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.
India has rejected claims made by the Thomson Reuters Foundation survey that engaged about 550 experts on women’s issue for its survey. The study conducted online and by phone declared India as the least safe country for women, followed by Afghanistan and Syria, Somalia and Saudi Arabia.