On 9 March, the Kanchanbagh police station (under Hyderabad commissionerate) received a complaint from a victim's brother. He said that for the past three years, his stepdad was sedating and raping his minor sister in their house. He said she had become pregnant at the age of 14.
When his mother came to know about the pregnancy, she tried to abort the child. However, a boy was born in January 2019. Instead of stopping her husband, she told her daughter to keep quiet. To cover up her husband's misdeeds, she told her relatives that she had married off the girl to someone in the Gulf. She said her daughter had later delivered a baby. Even after that, the stepfather continued to rape the girl and impregnated her again. He gave her pills for abortion. The victim's brother said that for the past three years, the man had been raping his minor sister and his mother had supported him.
A 38-year-old man raped his 13-year-old daughter on multiple occasions in Vikarabad during the lockdown. The girl, who studies at a religious institution, had come home as the institution was closed owing to the lockdown. According to the Vikarabad police (under Cyberabad commissionerate), the accused is a daily wage labourer and a resident of Alladurg village.
The girl came home in the last week of March 2020 after the lockdown was announced. During this time, the accused raped her multiple times at their home. It was found that he had threatened her with dire consequences if she told anyone about it. However, the girl's stepmother found out and informed the police.
The Medipally police (under Rachakonda commissionerate), on September 6, arrested a church pastor for raping a 24-year-old woman. Joseph alias Sadu Chinna Venkateshwarlu (35) had raped the woman multiple times after promising to marry her. Joseph had lured the victim by promising marriage and had sexually exploited her against her will and consent. Whenever the victim broached the topic of marriage, he had made one excuse or the other. He had also hidden from her the fact that he was already married.
In January 2020, he lured the victim to accompany him to a programme and took her to the outskirts of the city, near the Shamshabad area, and raped her while promising to marry her. Later, the accused had sexual intercourse with the victim several times at his house.
In all the above three cases, the accused is known to the victim.
As per the crime statistics of 2021, in all the three commissionerates of Hyderabad – Hyderabad, Cyberabad, and Rachakonda – more than 95% of rapes were committed by men who were known to the victims.
Former Hyderabad additional commissioner of police Shikha Goel during the annual press meet of the Hyderabad city police said that out of the 328 rape cases, only in seven cases were the accused strangers to the victims. That is, around 97% of the rape cases in Hyderabad were committed by men who were known to the victims.
According to the Cyberabad commissioner of police Stephen Raveendra, 354 out of the 356 rape cases (around 99%) were committed by men who were known to the victims. Similarly, in Rachakonda, out of the 377 rape cases, in 368 cases (around 97%), the accused was known to the victim.
The annual report by the Rachakonda police provides details of how each of these 368 rape-accused was related to the victims. Out of the 368, 257 were friends, lovers, or social media friends; 48 were neighbours; 28 were other acquaintances, including servants, drivers, and gardeners; 15 were employers or coworkers; 11 were family members and relatives; six were friends of family members; one was a partner or husband (separated) or ex-husband; one was a guardian; and one was grandfather, brother, father, or son. Only in nine cases were the offenders, strangers.
Rising rape cases
Meanwhile, the number of rape cases increased in all three commissionerates. In Hyderabad, rape cases in 2021 increased by 23%. In 2020, 265 rape cases were registered in Hyderabad. It increased to 328 in 2021. However, the Hyderabad police compared 2021 figures with 2019 to accommodate the impact of the lockdown and the resultant restrictions. Compared to 2019 when 281 rape cases were reported, Hyderabad saw a 16% increase in rape cases in 2021.
Cyberabad witnessed a 14.83% increase in rape cases in 2021. In 2020, the number was 310 whereas in 2021, 356 cases were registered. In Rachakonda, rape cases increased from 329 in 2020 to 377 cases in 2021, marking a 14.6% increase.
Crime against women: Cyberabad, Rachakonda
Crimes against women increased by 19.9% in the Rachakonda commissionerate while in the Cyberabad commissionerate, it increased by 2% in 2021. In Rachakonda, 2,040 cases of crime against women were reported in 2020 whereas, in 2021, 2,446 cases were reported. From 2,572 cases in 2020, crimes against women increased to 2,621 in 2021 in Cyberabad.
Among the crimes against women, harassment cases were the highest in both the commissionerates. In Rachakonda, 1,403 harassment cases, including domestic violence cases, were reported in 2021 while in Cyberabad, 1,139 harassment cases were reported. This is an 18.8% increase in Rachakonda from 1,181 cases in 2020. In Cyberabad, there was an 8% increase in 2021 from 1,054 cases in 2020.
Another prevalent crime against women was kidnapping. In Rachakonda, 62 women were reportedly kidnapped in 2020. The figure almost doubled to 114 cases in 2021. Meanwhile, 347 kidnapping cases were reported in Cyberabad in 2020 which increased to 391 in 2021.
Also, 17 dowry death cases were registered in Rachakonda in 2021 while 19 such cases were reported in Cyberabad commissionerate limits. Three and two cases of dowry murder were reported this year in Rachakonda and Cyberabad, respectively.
Besides, 25 cases of abetment to suicide, 11 murders, and 496 molesting cases were reported against women in Rachakonda and 599 cases falling under the provisions of outraging the modesty of women were registered in Cyberabad in 2021.