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Odisha records one of the highest numbers of crimes against women, children 

Incidents of sexual harassment and offences against children significantly increased during Covid induced lockdown/shutdown last year too.

Published: 16th September 2021 10:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2021 10:56 AM   |  A+A-

POCSO, Rape, Sexual Assault

Image used for representation. (Photo | Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Not just women, Odisha continues to be among the top states in terms of crime against children, the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report says. At 112.9 offences per 1 lakh population, Odisha’s crime rate against the fairer sex is second only to Assam where it stands at 154.3.

In 2020, a total 25,489 cases of crimes against women were reported against 23,183 in 2019, registering a rise of 9.94 per cent (pc). For much of the year, the State was in lockdown and shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The State reported 1,211 rape cases last year. In fact, almost half of the total crimes against women comprised attempts to outrage modesty.

A staggering 12,605 cases of assault on women in an attempt to outrage modesty were recorded in 2020. In this category, Odisha left behind all states and emerged on top. Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra each reported over 9,000 cases. During the year, at least 3,775 kidnapping and abduction cases were reported too.

The State also reported the highest number of cyber crimes against women in the country. Of the 526 cases of cyber crimes and Information Technology Act-related incidents, at least 292 related to the publishing of sexually explicit materials. Similarly, as many as 1,407 incidents of sexual harassment (354A of IPC) were reported in the State and the crime rate stood at a 6.2 per lakh population. In 2019, 1, 298 incidents of sexual harassment were reported and the rate was 5.8 pc. 

As many as 2,202 cases in which the victims were girls were registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Against children too, Odisha’s dubious record of crime persisted in 2020 when 6,330 cases were reported. Though it showed a drop from 7,012 cases registered in 2019, it was above the 2018 figures of 5,217.The rate of crime against children at 43.9 per 1 lakh population was worrying as Odisha was among the top five that included Sikkim (71.4), Madhya Pradesh (59.1), Chhattisgarh (51.9) and Haryana (47.6).

Incidentally, at 3,666 missing children reports which are considered kidnapped, Odisha was ranked third in the country after Maharashtra (3,867) and Madhya Pradesh (3,686). Incidents of sexual harassment and offences against children significantly increased during Covid induced lockdown/shutdown last year too.

Similarly, sexual offences against children also saw an increase. About 2,202 children faced sexual harassment in the State in 2020 as compared to 2,124 in 2019. The crime rate of such offences also increased from 14.5 pc in 2019 to 15.3 pc in 2020. During a year when children had to be online for educational purposes due to shutdowns, cyber crimes also rose. Odisha reported 71 cases and was among the top 10 states.



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