Rajasthan records highest minor sex abuse complaints during pandemic

Rajasthan records highest minor sex abuse complaints during pandemic
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The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which comes under the aegis of Ministry of Women and Child Development, has received as many as 800 complaints of sexual violence against minors during the pandemic, with the highest from Rajasthan, said the chairperson of the statutory body on Tuesday.

New Delhi : The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which comes under the aegis of Ministry of Women and Child Development, has received as many as 800 complaints of sexual violence against minors during the pandemic, with the highest from Rajasthan, said the chairperson of the statutory body on Tuesday.

The data comes at a time when several instances of rape against minors are coming to the fore from various states, prominently Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. In another gruesome incident, a six-year-old girl reportedly died in Delhi on Tuesday, 10 days after being raped in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh district.

Speaking to IANS, the panel's chairperson Priyank Kanoongo maintained that there is no nationwide spike in such cases. "From April to September, the commission has received 835 complaints under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, as compared to last year, when the figures were 1,600."

He further apprised that 87 complaints were received from Rajasthan, the highest so far, followed by 80 in Tamil Nadu and 72 in Telangana. "The complaints from these states are more or less the same," Kanoongo added.

The chairperson of the apex child rights' body, however, rued the inadequate reporting mechanism of such cases in two states. "In West Bengal, a 16-year-old was kidnapped but the police did not add the charges of POCSO and trafficking in the FIR. In West Bengal and Bihar, the child welfare police officers are not trained and there is a lack of sensitisation."

On the contrary, recent National Crime Records Bureau data showed a significant rise in cases of crimes against children. In 2019, crimes against children went up by 4.5 per cent. A total of 1.48 lakh cases of crime against children were registered, of which 35.3 per cent cases were related to sexual offences. Unfortunately, the conviction rate remains low.

"The reason for the low conviction rate is delay but now, with the POCSO courts, the conviction rate will go up. The work is also being done to set-up specialised forensic labs for POCSO cases. The investigation technique also needs to be high-tech, then only the conviction rate will go up," said the NCPCR chief.

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