|Activists question NCRB report|
|By Ananya Sengupta|
New Delhi, Aug 25 : Militant guns routinely draw blood here. Ceasefires have been called and aborted. But the troubled Northeast is still the safest for two vulnerable sections - women and children.
So says the National Crime Records Bureau in its report for the year 2014.
Women, according to the report, are far more safe here than they are in, say, Bengal or Uttar Pradesh.
Table-toppers Bengal and Uttar Pradesh each accounted for 11 per cent of such cases, in other words together contributing over a fifth of such cases across the country.
According to the report, the region is also the safest for children, accounting for 2.7 per cent of the total number of cases of crimes against them in the country. There have also been no reported cases of child marriage or infanticide from the region.
Not that the Northeast presents a perfect picture. Despite the encouraging figures, the eight states have collectively shown an increase in reported crimes against women and children. While those against women have gone up by 1,935 cases, the number of cases of crimes against children has increased by 1,403.
Still, the insurgency-torn region, where ambushed security forces have bled in attacks by militant groups, have reported a negligible crime rate compared with the rest of the country - contributing around 4.2 per cent of the total number of crimes committed in the country last year.
Not everyone is convinced. At least one activist said the NCRB figures might not reflect the true picture, as many women routinely refuse to report cases of sexual violence.
"I do not agree with this NCRB data that is floating around. Most women in this region do not report violence. Also, one must understand that most of the crimes against women are committed either in the form of domestic violence or, particularly in this region, by armed personnel. No one reports these crimes," said Rosemary Dzuvichu of the Naga Mothers Association, a civil society group based in Nagaland.
"Also, incidents in this region are not highlighted as is done with cases in other parts of the country."
According to the NCRB figures, Nagaland is the most peaceful state in the region, recording just 1,157 cases registered under the Indian Penal Code, while Assam has topped the list with 94,337 cases.
Women and children too seem to be the safest in Nagaland, with just 110 reported cases of crimes against women and 93 against children.
In Assam, on the other hand, cases of crimes against women jumped to 19,139 in 2014 from 17,449 in 2013. In Tripura, the number of cases dropped marginally to 1,615 in 2014 from 1,628 in 2013.
In Meghalaya, cases of violence against women increased to 388 in 2014, up from 343 in 2013. In Arunachal, it remained stable at 288, while in Sikkim the number has increased, from 93 to 110. Manipur and Mizoram, which recorded a decrease in the number of cases of crimes against women in the last two years, saw a marginal increase in such cases.
The NCRB data also revealed that Manipur, which accounts for around 0.2 per cent of the country's population, registered nearly 65 per cent of cases under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, a law mainly aimed at curbing attacks on India's integrity and sovereignty.