GUWAHATI, June 24 - For the first time in the last six years, the overall cases of crime against women in a calendar year have witnessed a dip in Assam.
Compared to 20,116 cases of crime against women registered in 2015, the State witnessed 19,819 such cases in 2016.
Significantly, incidents of rape, dowry deaths, cruelty by husbands, kidnapping of women/girls in 2016 came down compared to 2015.
While the number of rape cases slipped from 1,852 in 2015 to 1,723 in 2016, dowry deaths witnessed a fall from 208 to 150. Similarly, reported incidents of cruelty by husbands and abduction too fell, although marginally. However, incidents of trafficking and molestation continue to show an upward trend.
While activists do not want to read too much into it terming it as just an aberration, especially taking into view the margin of decrease, the law-enforcers, however, are of the opinion that this could just be the beginning of an improved scenario for women in distress.
�At a time when the use of social media is at its peak with virtually no control over it, the improved record does say few things about law enforcement as well as rise in awareness among the people. There are, however, many areas where policing needs improvement,� a senior Assam Police official said, adding that the challenge would be to maintain the downward trend.
�Improving the conviction rate is the biggest challenge,� he asserted.
Crime against women has been witnessing a steady rise in the State since 2005 (record available from 2005), the only exception being the year 2011 when the rate of crime dropped marginally.