Young girls are no longer safe in the city. There is constant threat to the safety of young girls in the city, if one were to go by the number of Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act cases registered in the City in the last one year. In 2016-17, as many as 297 POCSO cases have been registered in the City, that's a sharp rise in the last five years, reports Bangalore Mirror.
In 2012-13, only 18 such cases were registered, but over the years, attack on the young girls seem to be on the rise, unleashing a disturbing trend.
Not just in the City, the cases are going northwards throughout the state. In 2012-13, there were 138 cases in the state, but in the last five years, the number has grown ten times over, reports Bangalore Mirror quoting statistics from the Karnataka State Integrated Child Protection Society. Under the POCSO Act, as many as 1,420 cases were registered in the state. It must be pointed out here that such cases are being reported more from the middle class and lower middle-class families.
But what is more disturbing is that the conviction rate in these cases is abysmally low in the courts. Of the 138 cases registered in 2012-13, only nine accused were convicted by the court in the same year. Besides, in 2015-16, only 68 accused were convicted of the 1,375 cases.
Under the POCSO Act, the punishment varies from one year imprisonment to not less than ten years. The law makes it mandatory to report the crime. But failure to report an offence would leave the accused with just six months of imprisonment or just a fine under the Section 21.
However, the sustained efforts to create awareness among the people has indeed helped in bringing these cases to light. People are becoming more aware; they are coming forward to register such cases, unlike earlier. Besides, the media, child helpline and even the district child protection committees too are playing a pivotal role in reporting these crimes.