DHUBRI, March 7 - With an average of 138 cases of crime registered against women in the district every month during the previous year, violation of rights of the fairer sex in this part of the State does not in any case seem to be heading for a dip in the forseeable future.
In 2016, as many as 1,657 cases of crime against women were registered under eight police stations of the district, making an average of more than 4.5 such cases registered by police every single day. In each of the eight police stations under reference, at least one such case was registered every two days, where direct or indirect physical or mental cruelty was perpetuated on women at such a level that they had to seek police help.
Documents available with this Correspondent indicate that in May and June last year, 157 and 219 such cases was registered, while in July, August and September, 160, 146 and 169 cases of crime against women was registered by police.
However, in January 2017, the police registered 103 cases of crime against women. If police sources are to be believed, most of these cases are registered under Section 498-A IPC (Cruelty by Husband and Relatives), Section 354 IPC (Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage Her Modesty), Section 376 IPC (Rape) and Section 509 IPC (Insult to the Modesty of Women). Cases under Section 363, 364, 364A, 366 IPC (Kidnapping & Abduction of Women) and Section 304-B IPC (Dowry Deaths) are also registered by police in the district.
Speaking on the subject, author and women�s right activist Sultana Salima Ahmed said that the main reason behind the spate of crime against women was illiteracy and rise in drug addiction, besides alcoholism in the district. She also said that apart from cases under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), there are hundreds of cases registered in the district every year under Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012.
�These are only a few cases about which we got to know as they were formally registered by police. In fact there may be thousands of other cases which may be more severe in nature than the cases registered by police, in which the victim or her family did not approach the police out of shame or perhaps fear,� added Ahmed.
She also said, �women in the district are often discouraged from working and becoming self reliant, which compels them to be dependent on their family or husband, and are thus compelled to silently tolerate all the injustice inflicted on her�.
Further, Ahmed mentioned that child marriage was another very prominent factor in the district. �Mostly in the remote and char areas of the district, many girls do not even reach Class-VIII before which she is forced to get married. At this tender age, she does not even know what is right or wrong. Additionally, as she is never made aware of her rights, she in fact has no other alternative other than to bear the cruelty for her entire married life�.