Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam is known as the city of peace, tranquillity and considered safe for women. But, incidents in 2017 have tarnished its image. Crime against women in the city of destiny has gone up by 7.08 per cent in 2017 as compared to 2016, and there have also been 81 rape cases registered in 2017 as against 78 in 2016.
In a spine-chilling incident, a 40-year-old woman was raped by a drunken man in broad daylight on a footpath along a busy road in Vizag on October 22, 2017. Shockingly, the horrific crime was captured on a camera, as onlookers decided to videograph the incident, rather than helping the victim. The 21-year-old accused G. Shiva, a truck driver committed the crime under the influence of alcohol in broad daylight. But, no one has tried to help the victim by obstructing or attacking the accused.
An auto-driver has captured the crime and sent the video to police and few others. In another incident a 20-year old girl Potnuru Roopa, a second year BSc student became the victim of love when she was burnt alive by a jilted lover at T Nagarapalem area under Bheemili police station limits in Vizag city on August 19, 2017, when she rejected his proposal.
The jilted lover P. Hari Santhosh (30) later ran off and committed suicide by placing his head on the railway track near Vizianagaram. A total of 997 cases of assault against women were registered in 2017 while the number was 931 in 2016. As many as 81 cases of rape, 52 cases of kidnap, 11 cases of murder, 7 cases of dowry deaths, 2 cases of dowry related murders and 18 cases of abetment to suicide were registered in 2017.
There were 443 harassment cases in 2017 as against 409 in 2016 said DCP (Law and Order, South Zone) T. Ravi Kumar Murthy. The police officers say that in 80 percent of the cases, the accused are known to the victims and crimes are committed inside homes, making it difficult to prevent them. Only two to three per cent of the rapes are committed by strangers. Secretary of AIDWA R.N. Madhavi says that crime against women has been increasing in Vizag, a city poised to get the smart city tag. To worsen things, the justice-delivery mechanism has also failed.