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New Delhi rape cases rise 23 percent in 2012

Anti-rape protesters in New Delhi on December 22, 2012.

Anti-rape protesters in New Delhi on December 22, 2012.

Rape cases increased in the Indian capital New Delhi by 23 percent in 2012, compared with data from the previous year, a recent report says.

“The rate of conviction in rapes in Delhi is much higher than the national rate,” Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said on Friday.

According to official figures released in an annual report, 706 rape cases were registered in 2012, showing a 23.43 percent rise from 572 cases in 2011.

This comes nearly a month after the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old Indian woman in New Delhi on December 16. Jyoti Singh Pandey was gang-raped and severely beaten on a moving bus in New Delhi.

After the attack, the woman and a male friend, who was also beaten, were thrown off the bus. She died on December 29 in a hospital in Singapore.

The horrific nature of the crime shocked Indians, who thronged the streets, demanding protection for women and capital punishment for rape, which currently carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Some 45 cases of rape and 75 cases of sexual molestation were reported in the two weeks following the incident.

New Delhi, a city of 16 million people, is known to be the least safe major city for women in India.

People accuse the officers patrolling the capital’s streets of being insensitive towards sexual crimes and ignoring related complaints. They say the country’s slow judicial system also discourages women from making complaints.

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