Despite awareness campaigns and stringent laws, crimes against women are on the rise in Kerala, the most 'literate' state in India. Crime statistics of Kerala police has revealed that rape cases touched decade's highest last year. 

As many as 1, 319 rape cases were filed until October 2016 while in 2007 only 5, 00 cases were reported. There is an increase in other crimes, and a total of 11, 618 cases of crimes against women were recorded during the period last year. Of this, 3, 351 were molestation cases, 276 eve-teasings and 126 kidnappings. 

The alarming increase in crime against women is due to lack of harsh punishment and delay in delivery of justice, state Women's Commission chairperson K C Rosakutty said. 

Last decade also witnessed two brutal incidents of crime against women in the state. In February 2012 a single-handed vagabond killed Soumya, 23, by pushing her off a speeding train and raping her. It was on April 28, 2016, that Jisha, a Dalit law student was brutally raped and murdered. Both these incidents had caused a huge uproar in the state, but Supreme Court annulled the death penalty of Govindachami, who killed Soumya, to life sentence stating lack of evidence. The court is yet to pronounce the punishment for Ameer-ul-Islam, the convict in Jisha murder case. 

"Such cases must be dealt by special courts. Fast track courts and speedy trial is necessary. Mere classes and seminars are not enough," Rosakutty said. 

Women now show the courage to stand up against atrocities and make sure that the rapists get booked. But present system fails to ensure adequate punishment on time. In most cases, witnesses and even victims turn hostile owing to such delay, and convicts use loopholes to get away with lighter punishments, she said. 

The highest number of cases of crime against women were recorded from Malappuram, 1, 208 cases and of them, 137 were incidents of rape. Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city, comes second on the list with 114 cases followed by Palakkad, 98 cases. 

The highest number of cases of cruelty by husband and relatives were also reported from Malappuram, 380 cases. As many as 451 molestation and 15 kidnapping were reported from Thiruvananthapuram. Ernakulam tops the list of eve-teasing incidents, 41 cases were filed last year.