GUWAHATI: The Assam State Commission for Women (ASCW) has asked the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to carry out a research on crime against women in Assam. The basic objective of the research is to find out the reasons, causes and factors responsible for crime against women.
Between 2010 and 2012, about 358 cases of domestic violence, bigamy, maintenance, dowry, rape, kidnapping, sexual harassment, land and miscellaneous were registered with the women’s commission. It registered 148 cases of domestic violence, 20 cases of bigamy and 16 cases of maintenance during this period. About 30 dowry cases, 17 rape cases, seven kidnapping cases, two sexual harassment cases, 20 land-related cases and 108 miscellaneous cases were registered.
ASCW member-secretary Monideepa Borkataky said, “Indicators say crime against women is increasing but the exact cause behind its rise is still not known. As per the National Crime Bureau Record (NCBR), Assam ranks second in the country in crime against women. Women are now not afraid to report any criminal incident and this could be a reason behind the rise. It has to be proved that certain factors are responsible for the increasing number of crime against women. Hence, we have asked the institute to take up a research project.”
She said the research project should study the scenario of the entire state, rather than concentrating on Guwahati.
TISS associate professor Meghali Senapati said, “A lot of research projects on women have been undertaken by TISS in places like Rajasthan, Haryana and Mumbai, but so far no such research has been conducted in Assam. These projects are called women-centric social work. Last year, after the GS Road incident, chief minister Tarun Gogoi had said that there should be a research on crime against women by TISS, but due to certain factors it could not be carried out. This time, the ASCW has asked us to carry out a research and we have welcomed it. We will submit a proposal either to the government or some other organization for funding our project. We have to form a research team, as well.”
She said this is not a legal problem but a social problem. The texture of the problem has to be understood, she said. “We have to focus on the causes and strategies and a holistic understanding is required. We have to find out the strategies to deal with violence and crime against women. We have to analyze the legal, social and psychological aspects,” she added.