Delhi's worsening crime rates: Why children, elderly, girls are unsafe in the national capital

In the great “cosmopolitan” NCR, certain people find their 'total freedom' to be themselves. The result is quite sad. In the first week of September, an 11-month-old baby was raped for two hours in Delhi and then abandoned in bushes by one such 'freedom seeker'. In the third week, two women were stabbed to death by their stalkers in two separate incidents. Delhi has long been called the 'rape' capital. There cannot be a 'rape' capital without it being the 'pervert' capital. There’s something about the NCR that makes it very attractive for perverts and sexual offenders from all over to consider it their 'ideal' place. They feel at home here like nowhere else. Should we be concerned about Delhi? Not really. We should be concerned about protecting children, elderly and women from Delhi.


The latest NCRB data on worsening crime rate in the national capital points to one fact – there is something seriously wrong about Delhi. Reuters

The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data is important for every Indian citizen who wants to live in an area safe for women, children and older people to make informed choices about where to live and thrive. The NCRB data can be misused if one uses total number of crimes, since places will have a larger number of crimes just due to a bigger population. What matters is the crime rate, which is, total number of crimes in comparison to its population. All the data points to one fact – there is something seriously wrong about Delhi.

The above incidents aren’t cherry-picked for shock value to “defame” Delhi with regards to crimes against women. On this count, Delhi is already infamous enough. There is another reason why the national capital is notorious for – as the most polluted city in the world. In this Firstpost article, Sandipan Sharma wrote about the writer who had left Delhi to save his children from pollution. This most polluted city in the world impairs the lung functions of half of its children. Pollution isn’t only danger due to which many concerned parents have left Delhi. The parents I met chose other cities over Delhi when their girl child was born or were looking to move out. Living in a “cosmopolitan” style is now a secondary option to many than the safety of their near and dear ones, especially the girl child.

The NCRB data shows that in 2015, there were 927 incidents of child rapes reported in Delhi. That’s three children being raped per day! It states that in 20 percent of the cases of reported child rape, the perpetrators are children themselves. Now, even Delhi’s children are not safe around Delhi’s children. Such is the effect of Delhi on children; the city turns them into perpetrators and makes them victims at rates unheard of elsewhere. Rapes of children in Delhi are not committed from strangers. In 97 percent of the cases, it’s people known to them, says Delhi police data. About 22 percent of the victims are aged below seven years and 38 percent of the victims fall between ages 7 and 12 years. Thus a child in Delhi isn’t safe at home or anywhere. If this isn’t sick enough, police and child rights activists say that the actual number is much higher. There is evidence that the NCR-Delhi region under-reports rapes more than any other state. Thus, these numbers are a good estimate of Delhi’s shameful top spot.

Apart from child rapes, Delhi has been on top among all states and union territories with 37 kidnapping and abduction cases per 1,00,000 in 2015. That’s about 29 kidnappings per day. In 60 percent of these abductions, the targets are children. Delhi had 7,730 abductions in 2015, more than each of large states like West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar. Delhi for some is apparently the place for “opportunities”. Among the “opportunities” Delhi provides is also the “opportunity” for sex offenders and child abductors to commit their crimes at unbelievable rates. In short, parents who care about their children not being raped or abducted might want to think of the child’s interest when choosing where to live and make their career in this huge subcontinent filled with places where children are much safer rather than selfishly exposing minors to constant threat from surroundings.

A parent who left Delhi to ensure his children’s well-being wrote, “Some feel it is unethical for those who have a choice to willingly raise children here”. He quoted another parent Sarath Guttikunda, who said, "If you have the option to live elsewhere, you should not raise children in Delhi." And they were just talking about the pollution and not the chart-topping rates of rape and abduction of children.

On the other end of the spectrum from children are the elderly. When the young fly high, it’s the older people who often care for the children. But in Delhi, even the old are not spared. Senior citizens are defined as those over the age of 60 years. As per the 2015 NCRB data, Delhi is the most unsafe place for senior citizens. It had “won” this infamy in 2014 and has repeated the feat in 2015.

Its crime rate against the elderly of 108.8 crimes per one lakh elderly is about five times more than the rest of the India. Delhi’s 2015 crime rate against senior citizens is more than the 2014 rate.  Things are getting from bad to worse.

When the girls in Delhi grow up to be women, how is it for them? In total numbers, there were 1,893 rapes in Delhi in 2015. That is more than five per day. Its reported rape rate per one lakh population was a whopping 11.6 in 2015. For comparison with another large city, the same rate for Kolkata in 2015 was 0.2. This means in Delhi, a woman is 58 times more likely to be raped as compared to Kolkata. This is a 'disease' which afflicts the NCR region as a whole. For example, the 2015 rape rate in Faridabad is 9.1, that is 46 times more than Kolkata. Delhi also has the highest number of attempted rapes among mega cities. If this were not enough, it is also known as the 'stalking' capital, with 18 percent of all stalking cases in the union territory. This expands to all kinds of crimes and accounts for the largest number of crimes among all states in the national capital. There is not a single category of crime where Delhi’s crime rate is not more than that of Kolkata and most often

Delhi also has the highest number of attempted rapes among mega cities. If this were not enough, it is also known as the 'stalking' capital, with 18 percent of all stalking cases in the union territory. This expands to all kinds of crimes and accounts for the largest number of crimes among all states in the national capital. There is not a single category of crime where Delhi’s crime rate is not more than that of Kolkata and most often it's many times greater.

Since 1990, and especially so in the previous decade, the central government has built up Delhi by  showering it with goods, subsidies and made it an employment destination for the rest of the country. Other cities haven’t received this help – cities where women are less likely to be raped. Delhi is peppered with infrastructure that India’s provinces have toiled hard to pay for. The elite of Delhi and the regional elites who wish to see their children in Delhi in perpetuity have, by dint of their grip on the central government, made it a ‘world-class city’ for themselves. By choosing to do this at a location where power, impunity, and rape rates are the highest among cities, they have conspired against their children, parents, and women. The inordinate subsidisation of the 'rape' capital by the central government has to stop. Subsidising the 'rape' capital is like creating the best-equipped school in the street with the highest number of child molesters.

This shocking state of affairs is confirmed by no other than the chief of the Delhi Commission for Women who says, "The truth is that Delhi now is not only the rape capital of the world but has also become the 'stalking' capital of the world."

Four years after the “Nirbhaya” case, the number of rapes in Delhi has tripled. Delhi has maintained its top rank in rape rates before, during and even after “Nirbhaya” incident. Delhi is no place to be “Nirbhaya”. Such nomenclatures are good for self-congratulatory posturing. No wonder that the mother of “Nirbhaya” refused this false name and publicly stated her daughter’s real name Jyoti Singh Pandey, for that’s who she really was. It is the place which makes its girl children full of bhay (fright), its seniors abused and its women stalked and raped at rates which other cities cannot even begin to imagine.


Updated Date: Sep 25, 2016 14:43 PM

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