Over-smart in making arrests, JKP unable to get rapists convicted

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Bharti Jasrotia

Despite vehement claims of safety, Jammu and Kashmir is slowly but steadily becoming unsafe for women especially young girls.

Married or unmarried, they are bearing the brunt of Jammu and Kashmir police preferring counter insurgencies measures over normal policing both rapes and assault or women have shown many fold increase during the last few years. And what makes this scenario pathetic is that whosoever is arrested on the charges of rape and assault is hardly convicted.

The conviction rate is the poorest in the country. According to the date accessed by Newspoint Bureau, Police registered 303 cases of rape in the year 2012.Out of these 303 cases,257 were charge-sheeted but despite arresting around 388 persons and charge-sheeting around 387 rapists, there were just 19 convictions in which 28 persons were convicted.

This is just 7 percent of the total number of cases of rape registered by Jammu and Kashmir Police. The figure goes down further if the number of persons convicted is taken in account. The year 2013 should have been comparatively a safer year for women in Jammu and Kashmir; had police taken conviction rate into account, got down to work and ensured that women feel safer in Jammu and Kashmir both in the rural as well as urban settings.

And when the figures were tabulated for the year 2013, the rape cases had jumped from 303 in 2012 to 378 in the year 2013.Police charge-sheeted 241 cases but failed to get their conviction rate improved. Just 22 cases were convicted which again comes to 7 percent of the total cases registered 404 offenders were arrested and 401 were charge-sheeted and just 36 were convicted.

The year 2014 did bring some solace to the police as a number of cases of rape went a little down but the conviction rate of cases came down heavily. Of 331 cases of rapes registered in 2014, just 18 were convicted. This is just 5.41 percent of the total cases registered. So, the story of Jammu and Kashmir police as that it does register rape cases but fails miserably and pathetically to ensure that the cases reach the stage of conviction.

Not only rape cases but the cases of assault on women have seemingly become a serious test of the ability of Jammu and Kashmir police to ensure women are safe in Jammu and Kashmir. The number of assault cases registered in Jammu and Kashmir were 1322 in the year 2012.This figure rose to 1389 in 2013 and 1421 in the year 2014.The conviction rate in the year 2012 was around 8 percent, dropped to 7 percent in the year 2013 and declined sharply in the year 2014 to 2.88 percent.

If the provisional figure of the year 2015 or any indicator police in Jammu and Kashmir has failed to contain both rape and assault cases. Upto December 2015, 269 rape cases and 1339 assault on women cases have been registered in various police stations across the state. Shockingly, the conviction rate continues to be extremely low. These figures clearly reveal that Jammu and Kashmir police needs to do course correction immediately. Otherwise time is not far when J&K would become unsafe for women.

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