Most rapes in Mum­bai on Ban­dra­And­heri stretch

RE­AL­ITY Of 752 rape cases in 2017, the re­gion ac­counted for 199; with 26 reg­is­tered cases, Oshi­wara one of the most no­to­ri­ous ar­eas

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - Nation - Jayprakash S Naidu jayprakash.naidu@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: The Ban­dra-And­heri belt is home to the crème de la crème of Mum­bai: from Bol­ly­wood stars to the rich and fa­mous in­dus­tri­al­ists and busi­ness­men, all have their homes here. But there’s one thing that says this pop­u­lar tin­sel town hub is un­safe for women: record­ing one-fourth of Mum­bai’s rape cases in 2017.

With 199 rape cases reg­is­tered, the re­gion ac­counts for more than one-fourth of the 752 rape cases reg­is­tered in the city.

Arun Cha­van, as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner of po­lice for four po­lice sta­tions (DN Na­gar, Oshi­wara, Am­boli and Versova), told HT, “There was just one case at Am­boli where the accused was a stranger. In all other cases, the accused were known to vic­tims. Most of the rape cases last year were reg­is­tered by women who were fil­ing cases against their live-in part­ners. There are one or two cases of date rape. Even in POCSO Pro­tec­tion of Chil­dren from Sex­ual Of­fences Act) cases, there were runaway cases, but un­der law it does not mat­ter.”

Oshi­wara turned out to be one of the most no­to­ri­ous ar­eas with 26 cases and Powai fol­lowed with 18. Prime ar­eas like Ban­dra, San­tacruz and Versova saw 13 cases be­ing reg­is­tered.

A po­lice of­fi­cer from Oshi­wara po­lice sta­tion said, “Most of th­ese rape cases were com­mit­ted un­der false pre­text of mar­riage or were reg­is­tered against live-in part­ners. In none of th­ese cases, the accused was a stranger. The only ex­cep­tion is rape cases in­volv­ing mi­nors be­cause the con­sent does not mat­ter there at all.”

Mum­bai po­lice spokesman, Deepak Devraj, said the West re­gion cov­ers a vast area, hav­ing three po­lice zones within its ju­ris­dic­tion.”Also the fig­ures are high be­cause we are sin­cerely reg­is­ter­ing of­fences,” said Devraj.

Ad­vo­cate Au­drey D’Mello, also the di­rec­tor of Ma­jlis, pointed out two ma­jor rea­sons for rise in rape cases.

“Af­ter the 2012 Delhi gang rape, a new law for crime against women was made. Since 2011, our or­gan­i­sa­tion has been closely work­ing with the Mum­bai Po­lice to sen­si­tise them on the law as part of our pro­gram Ra­hat. We brought out a stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dure for fil­ing rape cases,” the lawyer said.

She added that there has been free and fair reg­is­tra­tion of FIRs and a change in the cops’ at­ti­tude. The credit, she said, goes to se­nior cops who en­sured reg­is­tra­tion of FIR by tak­ing ac­tion on of­fi­cers turn­ing away or dis­cour­ag­ing rape sur­vivors.

Ac­cord­ing to D’Mello, in more than 95% cases, the rapist is known to vic­tim. The sec­ond rea­son, she said, is the heavy pop­u­la­tion in the west re­gion.

“Even cases where men go back on the prom­ise of mar­riage in­volve vi­o­lence and trauma. In such cases, women see po­lice and law as the only source of help and so such cases should not be taken lightly,” she added.

IN MORE THAN 95% CASES, THE RAPIST IS KNOWN TO VIC­TIM. THE SEC­OND REA­SON, AN AD­VO­CATE SAID, IS THE HEAVY POP­U­LA­TION IN THE WEST RE­GION

Prime ar­eas like Ban­dra (in pic­ture), San­tacruz and Versova saw 13 rape cases be­ing reg­is­tered in 2017.

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