GUJRAT: At least 33 women were killed in the incidents of violence over issues related to “honour” and because of domestic violence during 2020, as compared to 37 killed in 2019 in the district.

Though police have arrested some 72 suspects, out of the 100 allegedly involved in these cases registered during 2020. However, none of the suspects in these cases of killing women in the last couple of years, could be convicted from the courts.

According to the district police data, at least seven women were killed over “honour”, 16 in domestic violence incidents and 10 were murdered for other reasons during the last year. Whereas, in 2019, at least 10 women were killed over “honour”, 24 in domestic violence and three were murdered in other incidents.

However, in 2019 the police claimed to have arrested 83 out of total 88 suspects involved in these cases.

As per the data, at least 42 cases of sexual violence were reported in 2020, including seven of gang-rape, whereas nine cases of attempted murder were registered during the year. Similarly, 37 cases of sexual violence were registered in 2019, including six of gang-rape and four of attempted murder.

As many as 229 cases of women’s abduction and kidnapping were reported in the district during the last year (2020), whereas 224 such cases were reported in 2019.

Police blame ‘reconciliation’ for low ratio

The police claimed to have arrested most of the suspects involved in the incidents of crime against women, but there has been no conviction in any of such cases despite of submission of the challans in many of these.

FACILITATION CENTRE: A women and juvenile facilitation centre set up in Gujrat by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with the funding of Norwegian government, and in collaboration with the Gujrat police, in helping to resolve the issues related to the women and juveniles in society.

The centre had been established in Dec 2019 near the Police Lines, for reporting domestic and sexual abuse incidents against the

vulnerable segments of society under one roof, where women police officers and personnel were deployed to address such complaints.

A spokesman for the district police said at least 300 cases pertaining to domestic issues had been resolved through the centre during the last one year.

He said the complaints filed by women were handled by women police officials who personally listen to the applicants and take measures to resolve their issues amicably or through effective use of police authority.

He said mostly the incidents of violence against women were reported in the rural parts of the district. Since complainants and suspects in most of the cases were closely related, such matters end in reconciliation, resulting in low ratio of convictions.

He said the ratio of killing of women had gradually been declining in the district for the last seven years, as 51 women were murdered in 2013 and the number had dropped to 33 in 2020.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2021

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