Assam: 169 complaints of crimes against women received in less than a month

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GUWAHATI, April 22, 2018: Total of 169 complaints of crimes against women have been received on the 181 women's helpline in Assam since it was launched on March 29.

The toll-free helpline number, which was launched by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, is designed to help women in distress.

The helpline assists women with emergency response and rescue, besides social welfare schemes, shelter, counselling, medical examination, filing FIR, legal aid and recording of audio and visual depositions. The service is integrated with police stations, State Commission for Women, family counselling centres, NGOs, legal service centres, shelter homes, medical and legal experts.

An official source told the media that the helpline had received 169 complaints in the last 24 days and the complaints have been forwarded to the police for necessary action.

According to him, of these complaints, 45 were related to domestic violence.

"Most of the cases of domestic violence are about dowry demands and extramarital affairs. Even people in their late fifties have been accused by their spouses of having extramarital affairs with young girls," he said.

Most of the complaints were received from Kamrup (metro) district, followed by Kamrup and Nagaon districts.

"We have got four complaints of cyber crimes in which someone created fake accounts of the victims on social media and posted objectionable materials. Two complaints of sexual abuse of children and 10 related to rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment were also received," he said.

"The rest of the complaints pertained to child marriage, child trafficking, abduction, romance gone awry, stalking, property dispute, torture, abandonment, missing person report and the like," the source said.

He said that receipt of so many complaints within such a short span of time was a pointer to a sharp increase in crimes against women in the state.

"Moreover, dowry demand, which was a stranger to the Assamese society not very long ago, has shown an upsurge of late," he said.

"Since the launch of the helpline, we have answered around 2,000 calls, including prank and obscene calls and those made by victims to know the status of their complaints. There were also instances of the caller threatening our staff for registering the complaints," the source said.

"We have also received absurd calls seeking our help to recharge mobile phones," he added.

Source: The Telegraph

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