Activists seek Women’s Commission in Telangana

The Telangana state police crime statistics show that the number of crimes against women have reduced by seven per cent.

Hyderabad: With the increase in crimes against women in Telangana state, the women’s collectives in Telangana have demanded that the government set up a Telangana State Women’s Commission. As per the data with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Telangana ranks fourth in the country for the most number of crimes against women.

The Telangana state police crime statistics show that the number of crimes against women have reduced by seven per cent. However, there is 28 per cent increase in deaths, and 22 per cent increase in incidents of cruelty against women.

In 2018, 1,565 rape cases were registered, while in 2017, 1,414 rape cases were registered, an 11 per cent increase. Incidents of rape, kidnapping and abductions, outraging the modesty of a woman and bigamy have increased.

In the first five months of this year the National Commission for Women received 55 petitions from Telangana, which is more than half the number of complaints registered throughout 2018. Some 93 complaints were received in 2018.

Varsha Bhargavi, organiser for ‘I Will Go Out Collective’, said, “Majority of crimes against women do not get reported to police or law enforcement agencies. Hence it is crucial to have a State Commission for Women to ensure proper enforcement of laws and also to create awareness on women’s rights in the state. The National Commission for Women Act 1990 clearly states that states need to have a state commission for women to disburse the cases and also act as an apex body to protect women from atrocities.”

A state commission for women will help deal with women related violence, review constitutional and legal safeguards for women, take suo moto cognizance pertaining to violations of women’s rights, and deal with policy matters affecting women.

Ms Bhargavi said that without a state commission for women, women in TS are entirely reliant on NGOs and women’s collectives for guidance.

While NGOs and women’s collectives are handling several cases on their own, without a state commission, there is no official way to record the gravity of violence against women and identify the focus areas where the state needs to step up.

Another community that requires protection is the transgender community who are victims of gender based crimes.

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