The latest rape statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has once again put Delhi on top of the shame table. But, surprise, surprise, safe Mumbai is a close second on the list.
According to a Times Of India report, Delhi registered 568 cases of rape, compared to 218 in Mumbai in 2011 according to NCRB records. In the 2007-2011 period, Delhi topped the chart, followed by Mumbai, Bhopal, Pune and Jaipur.
As far as states were concerned, Maharashtra ranked fifth with 7,703 cases registered; Madhya Pradesh tops the list with 15,275, followed by West Bengal (11,427), UP (8,834) and Assam (8,060), according to the TOI report.
In terms of numbers Mumbai might still be far behind Delhi, but the number of rape incidents has been on the rise in the financial capital for the past two years.
The TOI report also quotes Mumbai police officers as saying that rape is a social issue. “It is a social issue and it is impossible to come out with an initiative or strategy to curb such offences. Many cases registered are technical (with victim’s consent),” said Mumbai police spokesperson and deputy commissioner of police (crime branch unit-l) Nisar Tamboli.
This is not the first time that the Indian police have made disparaging comments about rape victims. In April this year, Tehelka did a sting operation across 23 police stations in Noida, Delhi and Gurgaon which revealed some shocking testimonies from police officers.
The idea that rape is often just a woman crying foul after a night of consensual sex seems to be deeply ingrained in the psyche of Indian police all across the country.
For instance, in the Tehelka story, nearly 17 of the 30 policemen interviewed by the magazine believed that “real” rape cases are rare: “There are cases but 70 percent involve consensual sex. Only if someone sees, or the money is denied, it gets turned into rape”
Mumbai prides itself as a safe city for women, often touted as the ideal choice for single women to reside in. But the recent statistics and the attitude of the Mumbai police reveals that it is just a myth.