Crime against women in J&K


I t is definitely unfortunate and disturbing as well that the graph of crime against women should show an upward trend in Jammu and Kashmir if the latest figures released by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs are to be believed. An erstwhile state and now a Union Territory was known, until a few years ago, as one of such places in the country where crimes against the women were at the barest minimum with the heinous crime of rape quite rare. What are the precise reasons for a virtual spurt in such crimes is an issue to be dived deep into by sociologists, psychologists, legal experts, psychiatrists and social reformers as a single factor or a two, cannot account for these crimes. It is again astonishing to note that while even at the national level, overall there was a decline of 8.3 per cent, there should as against it be an increase of 11 percent in such crimes against women in Jammu and Kashmir and even in Ladakh. The fact of the matter is that on comparative grounds , Jammu and Kashmir has all along been known for spreading of education particularly among women with no discrimination at all which speaks for a literacy rate of over 68 percent in females and 86 percent in males, Jammu and Samba leading with 84 and 82 percent literacy while that of Srinagar with 70 and Udhampur at 69 percent though not very encouraging but not dismal as well, should have been an antidote to increase in such crimes. If more analysis is done in respect of the data available in respect of various types of crimes committed, perhaps, among the educated ones, it would not be at the lowest which was earlier got known in respect of foeticide of females threatening menacingly the male female sex ratio. The scenario would have been imperilling had the same not been legally banned. Both the Union Territories recording 4503 crimes more than the figures of 2019 shows how various factors combined or in isolation have led to increase in crimes against the fair sex. Harassment, mental and physical torture on perpetual basis, which often goes unreported on grounds of dowry and other demands from the husband and his relatives, undoubtedly, constitute the major portion of crime against women. This is shockingly true more of educated and elite sections than other groups as per a study. The other silent but unreported, under crimes category is, the spurt in divorce cases and the mental trauma associated with it, again, indirectly as a crime against women with certain exceptions of course, and again prevalent more among the ‘elite’ and ”educated” groups. It is again unfortunate that Jammu and Kashmir, considered as the safest place for women, now carries such a stigma of crimes against women including against minor girls, being on the rise. One who as mother, sister, daughter and wife provides all love, affection, devotion and soothing comfort, unifying families et-al – the woman – instead of being object of reverence should become a victim of an afflicted and criminal mindset, is heart rending. A social awakening and thrust on moral values coupled with banning all material projecting woman in a cheap manner and social ostracizing of people indulging in crimes against women would go a long way in bringing forth perceptible improvement and fast decline in the rate of crimes against women.