Crimes against women drop in 2020 but rule violations spike in Covid-hit year: NCRB 

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Pandemic-hit 2020 saw crimes against women dropping across India, according to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data released on Wednesday. Still, the NCRB data showed 77 rape cases were reported across India on an average every day in 2020.

The number of rape cases in 2020 was recorded at 28,046. Overall, 3,71,503 cases of crime against women were recorded in 2020, according to the NCRB data. This marked a decline in the number of cases of crime against women from 4,05,326 in 2019 and 3,78,236 the previous year.

A nationwide lockdown was imposed from March 25 to May 31 last year to contain the spread of Covid-19. During this period, movement was extremely limited as public places remained shut. Restrictions in varying degrees continued for major part of the year that contributed to the decline in several crimes in India.

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However, the overall cases of crimes increased in 2020 by 28 per cent. According to the NCRB data, 66,01,285 cognisable crimes were recorded last year. Crime rate registered per lakh population also increased from 385.5 in 2019 to 487.8 in 2020.

The NCRB data showed major increase in the cases registered under “Disobedience to order duly promulgated by Public Servant” (Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code). Such cases jumped from 29,469 in 2019 to 6,12,179 in 2020.

The NCRB said these cases were primarily those arising out of violations of Covid-19 norms as the pandemic protocols were extended in different parts of the country for longer periods of time.

In effect, there is a decrease in registration of traditional crime by about two lakh cases, the NCRB noted.

In over 28,000 rape cases, the NCRB said, 28,153 victims were sexually assaulted. Of them, 2,655 were minors. In comparison, the number of rape cases stood at 32,033 in 2019, 33,356 in 2018 and 32,559 in 2017.

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Rajasthan recorded the highest number of rape cases at 5,310 followed by Uttar Pradesh 2,769, Madhya Pradesh 2,339, Maharashtra 2,061 and Assam 1,657.

Delhi reported 997 rape cases in 2020.

Among all crimes against women, the highest number of cases was recorded under “cruelty by husband or relatives” in 2020. The NCRB data showed that there were 105 cases of acid attack in 2020.

The NCRB, under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, collects and analyses crime data sourced from police stations across the country.

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