The Old City in Hyderabad is seeing a steady rise in rape cases, worrying authorities who are planning several measures like improved policing and awareness drives to make women in the area feel safer. From juts nine cases of rape recorded in 2010, the numbers have jumped to 14 this year with a few days yet to go before Hyderabadis ushers in the New Year.
The rise in rape cases is worrisome at a time when thousands of denizens are out on the streets protesting against last Sunday's brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student, who was also beaten up along with her male friend, stripped of their clothes and thrown out of a moving bus in New Delhi.
Police in Hyderabad and the entire state have been put on alert and asked to increase patrolling near women's colleges, hostels and pubs.
The Hyderabad police commissionerate which is divided into four zones - north, east, west and south - had recorded 40 cases of rape in 2010 out of which nine were from the Old City, 54 in 2011 out of which 13 were registered with various police stations under Old City and 60 in 2012 out of which 16 complaints were lodged in 10 police stations in Old City limits. Of these 16, two were transferred to other police stations on the grounds of jurisdiction. Further, the largest number of cases were recorded in 2011 at Santoshnagar police station with four cases being reported between June and December.
Describing the pattern of rape cases, an officer said that most cases have an acquaintance of the victim as an accused. He added that cases are registered promptly as rape is no ordinary offence and said investigations have to be thorough so as to bring the accused to justice.
Revealing the details of one such case, he said a 16-year-old model from Bandlaguda was allegedly raped by her brother-in-law and a case was registered at the Kamatipura police station in May this year.
In another case, which was reported at the Hussaini Alam police station in September, a woman alleged that her husband had raped their two-year-old daughter. According to sources, the case is still under investigation because the police suspect that the could be fake as the woman was 'unhappy' with the husband and wanted to get even with him.