Article Source : India Blooms
Date of Issue : 28th Spetember, 2015
Title of Article : West Bengal is not as safe for children as it is often thought to be, particularly for minor girls
The NCRB 2014 data reveals that West Bengal stands fifth highest in the country, when it comes to crimes against children.According to the latest NCRB data, crimes against children have gone up in almost all Eastern states over the last 5 years (2010-2014), where West Bengal is on top of the table. In 2010 total number of crimes against children reported in the state was 880, which has gone up to a whopping 4909 in 2014, recording a steep 457% increase over the period of time.NCRB 2014 data further reveals that West Bengal is also among the top 5 states in the country in Kidnapping & Abduction (K&A) of children and accounts for 6% of such cases.
Cases related to kidnapping and abduction of minors in the state has grown by 608% over the last 5 years. Number of K&A cases in 2010 was 332 and in 2014 it rose sharply to 2351. However, the biggest area of concern is about Procuration of Minor Girls (IPC Sec. 366A), where concentration of cases in West Bengal is reported to be the largest among all states, closely followed by Bihar and Assam. West Bengal accounts for more than 40% of the registered cases of procuration of minor girls in the country, according to NCRB 2014 data.
Many questions today plague the state. For instance if that model of development enjoyed some degree of success, has it been enough? And more importantlyKomal Ganotra, Director Policy Research & Advocacy CRY, said, “Going by the current trend reflected in the NCRB data, West Bengal along with Bihar and Assam, continue to show worrying trends in crimes against children. As the latest data shows, crimes related to kidnapping and abduction (K&A), procuration of minor girls and buying / selling of girls for prostitution show remarkable increase in these states.This is a clear indication that deceitful movement of young girls from these states is still rampant.”
“However, there are reasons to be hopeful, as the rise in numbers indicates at an increase in awareness. As Komal Ganotra suggests, “One reason behind the increase of number of reported cases may be the increase in awareness of people, and also the proactive role of the police to register cases. But on-ground experience shows that in many cases incidences of missing children and child marriage are still not reported or registered in time,” Ganotra said. “While the increasing trends in crimes against children are indeed worrying, these crimes can be prevented by all means. To achieve this, the most important step is to strengthen the existing safety-net for protection of children, and also to bring forth an overall protective environment for them, both in letter and spirit,” Ganotra added.