MADURAI: Reported rape cases in the State shot up by 22 per cent to 1126 including 655 minor children in 2014 from 923 in 2013, according to latest data available with the Tamil Nadu State Crime Records Bureau. Rape cases have spurted for the second straight year in 2014, as 2013 saw a 25 per cent jump in such cases from year 2012.
Among the 1126 rape cases reported in 2014 in the State, minor children were victims in 655 cases, or about 60 per cent, booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act that came into effect in 2012. Among police districts in the State, Vellore has earned the dubious distinction of having the highest number of rape cases under the POCSO Act at 74 cases in 2014, followed by Tirunelveli at 40 and Chennai at 38.
The cases booked under the POCSO Act for previous years, however, are not available for comparison.
Of the rape cases booked under Section 376 of the IPC, Chennai topped the list with 66 cases and Tirunelveli ranked second with 43 followed by Villupuram with 38 cases.
Stating that the high number of cases registered under the POCSO Act indicated that more people have started to report such cases, P Manorama, former chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee, said, “A study conducted by the Government of India in 2007 itself showed that 50 per cent of children faced some form of sexual abuse, of which 20 per cent were of serious nature.” “That shows abuses have always been happening but went mostly unreported. Now they are coming forward to report such cases,” she added.
While rape cases have witnessed a steep rise, other cases of crimes against women have predominantly witnessed a decline in Tamil Nadu in 2014 from 2013.
For instance, cases booked under Section 509 of the IPC (insult to the modesty of women) fell by 26 per cent in 2014 and the cases under Section 498 A of the IPC (cruelty by husband and his relatives) decreased 15 percent. Similarly, dowry death cases also declined in 2014.