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NCRB’s reply to RTI seeking info on assaults on disabled women in homes draws rights activists’ ire | India News

NEW DELHI: The National Crime Records Bureau in response to a Right to Information application has said that they do not have information on incidents of rape or other forms of sexual assault reported from residential institutions housing girls and women with disabilities. The applicant has also been told that since policing is a state subject the applicant may seek information directly from the states and Union Territories.
Citing this RTI response from December last year, over 90 disability rights organisations, activists and individuals have now written a letter to Union home minister Amit Shah expressing their dismay at the fact that despite the large number of reported cases of sexual assaults on disabled girls/women, the NCRB does not maintain disaggregated data on such violence, as a separate category.
Some of the prominent organisations on the list whose representative have written the letter include National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD), National Association for the Blind, All India Federation of the Deaf, Association for Rights of Differently-Abled & Caregivers among others.
The NCRB in its reply in December to the RTI filed by disability rights activist Shampa Sengupta from NPRD, states that information on incidents of rape or other forms of sexual assault reported from residential institutions housing girls and women with disabilities have been reported from the states is not available with CPIO. The NCRB also told the applicant that “Police is a state subject under the 7th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. Hence you are advised to obtain the information directly from the concerned state or Union Territory.”
The letter writers now want the home ministry should pass necessary orders to ensure that the NCRB maintains disaggregated data which “includes, but is not restricted to, sex, age, place of residence, relationship with perpetrator and disability in cases of violence and exploitation, including gender-based violence against women and girls with disabilities, and violence inflicted by intimate partners”.
“This issue becomes all the more urgent as we are witnessing a growing number of cases of sexual assaults on girls/women with disabilities. We observe that during the pandemic period also there has been no respite. On the contrary, we find that there has been an increase in their numbers and the ferocity and brutality inflicted on the victims/survivors has escalated,” the letter said.
They go on to add that in many cases the perpetrators seek to maim the survivor with the intention of further impairing her capacity to get through an already inaccessible criminal justice system. “This was blatantly evident in the recent case in Bihar’s Madhubani were an attempt was made to damage the eyes of a hearing and speech impaired girl after she was subjected to gang-rape,” it is pointed in the letter.

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