Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have seen a rise in sexual violence as a tool of oppression against Dalit communities. Of all the reported rape cases in Uttar Pradesh, 18 per cent victims are Dalit women, almost double of that in Rajasthan (9 per cent).
The rape vulnerability of a girl or woman has increased up to 44 per cent in the last 10 years, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows. According to the NCRB data, during the period 2010-2019, a total of 3,13,289 cases were reported across India.
While sexual crimes against women have been on the rise, the brutal gang rape of Nirbhaya in 2012 shook the nation’s consciousness like no other. It prompted policymakers to make amendments to criminal law and come up with stringent punishment in rape and sexual assault cases.
This also included an amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, to allow the death penalty for the rape of children younger than 12 years. However, the atrocity on the young girl in Hathras is clearly an indicator of how these provisions for harsher punishments have not deterred perpetrators.
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