Srinagar: Over the past few months, there has been a concerning rise in crime cases against children and women here
Incidents of crimes are circulating on social media platforms, instilling fear among the public. Disturbingly, many of the perpetrators involved in child abuse are either relatives, teachers, or neighbours.
According to official police records, there has been nearly a 40% increase in crimes against children compared to the previous year.
In 2022 alone, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed 278 cases of sexual abuse against children.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar Rakesh Balwal told Greater Kashmir that police has registered different crime cases in the last few months.
“Crimes like rape of minors, children involved in stabbing and different crime cases, crime against women, harassment, eve teasing and even murders have been registered,” he said.
Giving details about the cases Balwal said that, Srinagar district reported seven rape cases in 2020, 21 cases in 2021, 14 cases in 2022, and five cases registered so far in 2023.
Similarly, under the category of ‘Sexual Offences against Children’, the district recorded 8 cases in 2020, 20 cases in 2021, 26 cases in 2022, and 12 cases in the current year.
Regarding ‘Kidnapping of Women’, there were 42 cases in 2020, 83 cases in 2021, 116 cases in 2022, and 36 cases registered so far in 2023.
He said that there were 187 cases of molestation in 2020, 204 cases in 2021, 227 cases in 2022.
Balwal said that these cases have always been there “but people used to show reluctance due to stigma.”
“People who are victims are coming forward and filing complaints. They have developed a trust now. Also, reporting of such crime incidents has increased which gives prominence to these crime cases,” the SSP added.
Rejecting the claims about minors getting involved in crime, Balwal said that in rape cases the accused were adults and victims were minors.
“There were some cases of stabbing involving minors. In fact, last year, a large number of crime cases were reported and this year also the cases show a slight surge. We are taking women cases on priority, we take swift action against the accused and try to get justice for women folk,” the SSP said.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee, Dr Khair-ul-Nissa told Greater Kashmir that they have registered at least 12 sexual abuse cases in just one and a half month.
“We are registering sexual abuse cases. We are providing rehabilitation, taking actions after these cases are registered. Mostly the FIRs are already lodged in sexual abuse cases. But, in case there is no FIR lodged, we complete the process,” she said.
Dr. Aftab Rather, Professor of Sociology at Amar Singh College said that there is a drastic change in socialisation. “Reasons for increasing minor crimes are social breakdown, lack of parental attention, social media, misuse of technology, poverty, materialism, drug abuse. By using phones, children see different content, even adultery and get addicted to it and don’t prefer to sit with their families,” he said.
He said that consumption of drugs is another menace. “ Youth has been engulfed by the drugs in the valley. They can easily know about different drugs online, even make online transactions. They have an open domain. Parental attention is very important and the right peer groups,” he added.