Guwahati, Wednesday, June 15, 2011
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Spurt in violence against women in State
Sanjoy Ray
 GUWAHATI, June 14 – The concept of woman safety, it appears, is a farce in Assam. Be it in office or house, in urban or rural areas, the fairer sex are living an unsafe life, like never before.

Statistics available show that in the span of last six years, over 600 women lost their lives in Assam for just not being able to meet the dowry demands and approximately 7,000 women, including minor girls, were allegedly molested by colleagues, relatives or neighbours.

This is in addition to the 18,000 (approx) cases of cruelty by husband lodged in various police stations in the State within the same period.

An unprecedented rise has been witnessed in the number of molestation cases, the number of which has doubled in 2010 compared to what it was in 2007.

In 2007, while Assam Police registered 789 cases of molestation, the figure rose to over 1600 last year (2010).

“It sounds strange but women continue to face the brunt of male-dominated society. Woman empowerment just does not exist. Be it in office, shopping malls or in public transport, it is same everywhere,” said Niharika Joshi (name changed), an advertisement professional.

As far as abduction of women/girls is concerned, a staggering 10,000 (approx) number of them were reportedly abducted since 2006. Experts and activists working for woman empowerment, however, are of the opinion that the figure does not reflect the true picture as many such cases are either not reported or registered as missing cases.

Moreover, Assam Police has registered around 10,000 cases of rape in the last six years.

An Assam Police official when asked to comment on the existing trend, said, “Cases such as molestation and dowry deaths are more of a social problem. The criminals suddenly emerge from within our friends and colleagues. But yes, cases pertaining to eve teasing should be given quick response and as far as abduction and immoral trafficking is concern, Assam Police has a lot more to do.”

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