West Bengal reported the highest number of cases of cruelty against women by spouses or their relatives in 2021, according to the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). A total 19,952 cases under Section 498A of the IPC, popularly called anti-dowry law which deal with violence against women by husbands and their relatives, were registered in the state last year.
West Bengal was followed by Uttar Pradesh where 18,375 such cases were recorded, and Rajasthan where 16,949 cases were registered. Goa was at the bottom of the table, recording only one such case of domestic violence. Nagaland recorded two such cases and Sikkim recorded three. In West Bengal, 41.50 per 1 lakh women were victims of such violence, while the national average was 20.50, as per the annual report published by the Union Home Ministry.
West Bengal Commission for Women chairperson Leena Gangopadhyay said the data showed that women of the state can report crimes against them to the authorities, which take prompt action. “One cannot ignore the fact that domestic violence exists in the society. It is a reality in India and West Bengal. But I think there is a positive side to this report as it shows that women in West Bengal Such crimes can be reported to the authorities, and the officers act accordingly. There is transparency and this report reflects.” “However, no conclusion can be drawn from this report (alone) as it does not take it into account. In many states, women cannot even report cases of violence against themselves,” he said.
Among metropolitan cities, Delhi reported most cases of such violence at 4,674. In Kolkata, the figure stood at 841, much below those of Hyderabad (1,678), Jaipur (1,200) and Lucknow (1,101).
According to the NCRB, 2,222 cases of these deaths have been reported in UP, 1,000 cases in Bihar, 522 cases in MP and 454 in West Bengal.