Guwahati, March 23 (IANS): Women are seemingly not safe in Assam. From 2005 to 2014, nearly 16,000 women have been raped, around 1,400 killed for dowry and over 120 lynched in the name of witch-hunting, a minister said on Monday.
Agriculture Minister Rockybul Hussain revealed some startling statistics in the Assembly about crimes against women in the State in the last nine years.
The minister, while replying to a question, said 68,329 women were tortured while 15,931 were raped during the period. As many as 78 women died after rape, 1,388 deaths were caused due to dowry and 123 women were killed in the name of witch-hunting, he said.
While 1,217 women were raped and four died due to rape in 2005, a total of 2,047 women were raped and 13 died due to rape in 2014. There were 99 dowry deaths in 2005, and the figure rose to 205 last year, he said.
Hussain informed the House that in 2005, 13 women were killed in the name of witch-hunting while six women were killed last year.
The highest rape-related deaths - 15 - occurred in 2012, while 2014 saw the highest of 2,047 rape cases. The year 2014 also accounted for the highest dowry deaths at 205.
Witch-hunting took the highest toll in 2011 with 31 deaths, the minister said while replying to a question by Gul Akhtara Begum of the All India United Democratic Front.
Hussain, however, said witch-hunting cases have shown a declining trend due to precautionary moves and awareness campaigns launched by the state government.
While 31 women were killed in witch-hunting cases in 2011, it was only six last year, he said.
The minister informed the Assembly that 47,298 people were arrested in the last nine years over their involvement in all the cases.
Police have charge-sheeted 44,877 people. While 1,385 of them have been punished by courts, trials were on for the rest of the accused. He said there were 26,464 cases of abduction of women during the period, and 13,568 abductors were arrested.