Victims should come forward to register complaints irrespective of whether police takes action or not says activists.
A report by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), revealed only about 50 percent of crimes and about 12 percent of sexual harassment cases are reported to Mumbai and Delhi police. The CHRI along with the Indian Statistical Institute and Nielsen India Pvt. Ltd. released its report on “Crime Victimisation and Safety Perception. The report was based on a year-long survey carried out between July 2014 and June 2015 in Mumbai and Delhi.
This survey also said percent of crimes get reported to police in Mumbai the percentage stood at 41.8 percent while in Delhi, its little higher 46.8 percent. Even the rate of lodging a sexual harassment case was very low in both the cities — only 7.5 percent cases were registered in Delhi, while in Mumbai, the rate was a bit higher with 11.1 percent. The report said that most of the sexual harassment cases registered was related to passing of vulgar and sexual comments.
On not reporting the crimes, CHRI director Maja Daruwala said: “One reason which came out in our survey was that the victims didn’t want to be caught up in police or court matters. “The second reason which came into light was that the victims didn’t feel there was enough evidence to take the case forward,” she added.
Senior advocate Abha Singh said, “The common people have lost faith in the police. If they file FIR then police doesn’t take action against the accused and shield them. Most of the time sexual harassment is being done by a person known to the victim and they try to resolve the matter themselves. If girl tries to file a complaint then she is being threatened.”
Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian said, “Police only comes into picture after filing of complaints. They can’t do anything if victim doesn’t file complaint. So citizens have to come forward to register complaints irrespective of whether police take action or not. “
BJP leader Shaina NC said, “Several languages are spoken in India. When a victim is assaulted then police should file FIR and not give more importance to language. After conducting thorough probe police should take action against the accused if he is proved guilty. Language should not become a barrier towards delivering justice to victims. Police should remain sensitive while investigating crime cases.”
Former ACP, Vasant Dhoble said, “Whenever victim approaches the police they don’t cooperate with them and file a case. Sometimes action is not taken despite serious offences are being committed. Language is not a barrier as people know Hindi and if a person comes from rural area then he gets some assistance from persons who are aware about the language spoken by him.”
“Sometimes women don’t come forward to file complaint and don’t cooperate with the police while conducting investigation. Police should also try to regain their confidence and ask them to come forward to file complaints so that there will be reduction in crime rates,” he added.
Sankalp Bhudhesiya Seva Sanghatna President Ajay Bhavsar said, “We have urged people to file a complaint with the police whenever they are being victimised then only crimes will be reduced. If police fails to take action despite filing complaints then they can be held responsible. People are facing problems while filing complaints due to language barrier.”
“A separate department should be established for addressing this issue. Awareness must be created among citizens about this issue. Earlier women used to face huge problems while reporting about sexual harassment cases as male cops used ask them uncomfortable questions but now women constables are there to assist them. If women files a written compliant then it makes the police department’s task easier,” he added.
The maximum cases registered with police were related to theft, which was followed by sexual harassment and assault cases. Cases of mobile phones being stolen were highest among all in both the cities. The report also said that about 36 percent of complainants in Delhi and 51 percent in Mumbai were satisfied with the police response.
The report said the residents of Mumbai generally perceive police in a more positive light and felt safer than those residing in Delhi. Further it stated that non-Marathi speakers in Mumbai and non-Hindi speakers in Delhi were comparatively more vulnerable to crime. Only about 50 percent of crimes and about 12 percent of sexual harassment cases are reported to police in Mumbai,