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Crimes against women rise under Jagan’s rule in AP

On November 27, 2019, a veterinarian was raped and murdered on the suburbs of Telangana’s Hyderabad. A year later in drought-prone Anantapur district, a 19-year-old Dalit girl was found dead, her body half burnt in farm fields near Badannapalli in Dharmavaram mandal on December 23.
 
The incident was believed to have occurred when the victim, an employee at a commercial bank, was returning home from work. Reports say she was strangled to death after having been subjected to sexual assault. Police denied the possibility of a rape having taken place.
 
The victim’s mother approached police after she failed to return after 9 pm. “Immediately after I went to the police station, I told police about a stalker who might have caused harm to my daughter. But there was no response from the police. Had they responded in time, my daughter could have survived,” the mother said.
 
She also said her daughter was forced to drop out of college after she completed her Intermediate studies because of threats from her stalker, who she identified as Gutti Rajesh.
 
Dharmavaram DSP Ramakanth said two men, Gutti Rajesh (23) and Sake Karthik (28), were arrested in this case. The government of Andhra Pradesh has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 10 lakh and four acres of farm land to the victim’s family, besides a government job to one of the family members.
 
On December 7, a 42-year old woman of Pedakudala village of Lingala mandal in Kadapa’s Pulivendula — which is represented by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy — was found dead in a field. She too was Dalit.
 
A day ago, the goats that the victim had taken grazing returned to the shed after sunset but the victim did not. Her mother found her mutilated body the next day.
 
The nature of her severe injuries pointed to the fact that she had been raped and struck with boulders. However, police denied the possibility of rape in this case too.
 
The opposition Telugu Desam Party gave a ‘Chalo Pulivendula’ call in protest, but police clamped a Section 144 on the area.
The two incidents, both ending in deaths of Dalit women, sparked public outrage.
 
Spurt in crimes against women
 
The state witnessed four cases of rape and murder, including the ones reported at Pulivendula and Dharmavaram in Rayalaseema region in December alone.
 
In its latest report for 2019 the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) said Andhra Pradesh ranked 8th in crimes against women, a 7% increase over the previous year.
 
Andhra Pradesh’s Director General of Police D. Gautam Sawang at the year-end media briefing too acknowledged the fact that that crimes against women is one area, where “a lot needs to be done”. A total of 12,784 crimes against women were reported in the state in 2020. “Women’s safety has a social dimension,’’ he said. The DGP however said police had helped more women report crimes.
 
Politics 
 
Vangalapudi Anitha, president of the TDP women wing Telugu Mahila, said that the state has witnessed more than 400 grave crimes against women, involving rape and murder, with victims mostly from the Dalit and Backward Classes backgrounds, in the last 18 months of the Jagan government. She accused the chief minister of failing to walk the talk when it came to women’s safety.
 
It remains to be seen how safety of women is becoming a cause of concern under the current state of lawlessness and ruthlessness under the YSRCP government. While violence and extortion continue to rule the roost, crimes against women seem to be rising. 

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