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Mar 03, 2013 at 08:55am IST

Maharashtra: RTI query reveals rise in rape cases in rural areas

Mumbai: The rape and murder of the three sisters in Maharashtra's Bhandara district has led to some status check on the increasing rate of crime against women in the state. An RTI inquiry shows such crimes are on the rise in Maharashtra.

The distraught mother who lost her three daughters to unknown rapists - the triple rape case has brought to focus the growing number of sexual crimes against women in rural Maharashtra. RTI data on rape cases debunks the perception that Maharashtra is safe.

Since 2009, the number of rape cases across Maharashtra has gone up by 14 per cent. Rape cases in Nashik range have gone up by 23 per cent and in Kolhapur by 16 per cent. In Nagpur range where the Bhandara case was reported, cases have gone up by 15 per cent.

But analysts say its not a phenomenon just in Maharashtra. Lawyer Flavia Agnes said, "The profile of the country is changing. Several cases of rape being reported across the country and Maharashtra and Mumbai is part of it. There have been several cases of rape in rural cases which have gone unreported."

These figures should certainly be a wake up call for the Maharashtra police. A case in point is the Bhandara alleged rape and murder case, where locals have been aggrieved in the manner police handled the case. It is inevitable that in the days to come questions will be raised about effective policing and investigation.