Crimes against children, women rose in a year in Chennai | Latest News India

Chennai: Cases beneath the Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, 2012 and that of molestation have doubled in Chennai in 2021 from 2020 and in common all crimes against women and kids have elevated throughout this era, reveals police knowledge.

Police officers say that this year they obtain at the very least one criticism a day on the all-women police stations throughout the town. They attribute this to lockdown restrictions being lifted which in flip elevated motion and legal behaviour, pegging it as a societal drawback. Another perspective marks this as elevated consciousness. Senior police officers and activists consider that the pattern of accelerating instances is a good signal that women and kids are coming ahead to report.

Data shared by the Greater Chennai City police with HT reveals that Pocso instances have been 239 in 2020 which doubled to 435 in 2021 and stands at 49 as of February this year. Similarly all crimes against women and kids, equivalent to rape, molestation, abduction, dowry deaths, cruelty by husband and his family members, sexual harassment booked beneath the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Women Harassment Act have all elevated throughout this year’s time.

There is a mixture of causes for the rise, says Syamala Devi, assistant commissioner of the wing of Crimes against Women and Children Wing beneath Chennai police functioning because the pilot project of union and state governments. The metropolis had seen its first Covid-19 case in March 2020 after which there have been nationwide and state lockdowns and Devi says after the lockdown was lifted, extra kids started opening up about crimes against them. “One, criminals began moving around and there was an increase in crime rate and old crimes which were committed during the lockdown also began to surface belatedly,” Devi stated. “And there has been increased awareness which has encouraged more children and women to have the courage to come forward and complain.”

This side the place victims are overcoming social stigma to complain, significantly kids, is due to a catalyst. Last June, in what was termed as Chennai faculties’ #metoomovement, there was an outpouring of scholars and alumni recounting sexual abuse they confronted inside lecture rooms, on the sports activities discipline and through on-line lessons performed because of the Covid-19 pandemic in the town’s faculties. As nameless complaints quickly accelerated on social media, the officers from the Wing approached kids and their households and satisfied most of them to file police complaints in order that they may file an FIR. At least a dozen academics, coaches and Godamn Siva Sankar Baba (founding father of a global faculty) have been arrested in Chennai. This has created a cascading impact the place college students from throughout Tamil Nadu have begun calling out their academics for sexual abuse and approaching the SCPCR and police with complaints.

“This definitely made a change,” says Devi. “Women came to us complaining about sexual assault they faced at the hands of their teachers even 20 years back. But Pocso Act didn’t even exist at that time so we cannot take retrospective action. Having worked with many victims, one thing I can say for sure is that they have a sense of satisfaction by just reporting the crime. And we are ensuring that charge sheets are filed within 60 days so that the accused doesn’t get bail.”

A senior member of Chennai’s Child Welfare Committee who didn’t want to be recognized additionally stated that it has been significantly difficult as crimes against kids have elevated amidst the pandemic. “There have been more school dropouts and because of that more child marriages,” she stated. “There are several cases of elopement and we have to report them. Such issues have increased after the lockdown was lifted.”

Devi agrees and says that 90% of the Pocso instances are these of kids eloping. “According to the boy and girl below 18, they are lovers but the law sees them as accused and victims,” says Devi.

The particular wing offers further functionalities equivalent to lively policing, intelligence gathering, tackling organised crime against women and kids, monitoring correct implementation of the legislative provisions, conducting consciousness camps with neighborhood participation to stop the crimes. Vehicles launched beneath the Nirbhaya secure metropolis project referred to as ‘Pink Patrol’ which is a cellular women police patrol automobile contains putting in surveillance cameras close to faculties, faculties and different areas funded by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs. “The awareness vehicles are scheduled to go to educational institutions in the morning and public places such as beaches in the evening. We want to invoke fear that such offences against children cannot be committed. We are educating the children to complain to teachers, parents and to get in touch with us–the easiest is through the Kavalan (meaning police in Tamil) SOS app,” stated Devi. “And we don’t do this for just one gender, we include the boys too.”

The Chennai police is now additionally working with different departments such the Public Works Department and the electrical energy board on infrastructure points equivalent to placing up lights on dingy streets, clearing of rubbish mounts in order that the surroundings feels secure. The Greater Chennai Corporation has additionally launched the gender lab which was launched by the town’s civic and police commissioners moreover the mayor to build the town the place women, kids and members of the LGBTQIA+ neighborhood really feel secure.

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