Delhi Gang Rape Anniversary: Number of Rape Cases Across India Doubles in 12 Months

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By Vasudevan Sridharan | December 16, 2013 10:58 PM EST

Demonstrators perform a street play on rape during a protest to mark the first anniversary of the Delhi gang rape, in New Delhi - (Reuters)

As India marks the first anniversary of the infamous Delhi gang rape, authorities have said cases of sexual assault and molestation are being reported far more frequently since the tragedy.

Exactly a year back, a 23-year-old paramedic student was raped by six men in the Indian capital. Four of them were swiftly given the death penalty, one committed suicide in jail, while the last one, a juvenile, has been awarded the maximum three-year imprisonment.

A year after the horrific incident, which sent shockwaves across India, observers say the Delhi rape case has shattered the taboo attached to rape victims, who are often looked down upon in India.

The number of registered rape cases has almost doubled during the past 12 months in Delhi. According to official statistics, a total of 1,493 cases have been recorded in the Indian capital until 30 November. The figure, the highest in more than a decade, is more than double the number of rapes registered in 2012.

In addition to that, the number of sexual molestation cases has increased five-fold during the period. In 2012, 625 incidents of sexual assaults have been registered while a total of 3,237 have been recorded with the police until last month.

"Today, complaints are recorded verbatim and FIRs are filed simply on the basis of women's complaint without raising any issue. This has caused significant rise in the number of registered cases but we are not deterred by it," a senior Delhi police official has said.

The Delhi gang rape incident has triggered a domino effect across India, especially in the capital. Both the federal and the state governments have been forced to introduce a raft of measures to tackle crimes against women.

However, the administration has also come under heavy criticism from across the spectrum for not doing enough to keep women safe.

Opposition activists have accused the government of not using a single penny from funds totalling £10m (1bn INR) set up specifically for women's safety measures.

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