India reported 3,59,849 cases of crime against women in 2017, and Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 56,011 cases, according to the National Crime Record Bureau’s Crime in India Report 2017 released on Monday. Maharashtra with 31,979 cases and West Bengal with 30,002 cases were placed in the second and third positions, The Hindu reported.

“Majority of cases under crimes against women were registered under ‘Cruelty by Husband or his Relatives’ (27.9%) followed by ‘Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty’ (21.7%), ‘Kidnapping and Abduction of Women’ (20.5%) and ‘Rape’ (7.0%),” the report stated.

The data showed there had been a 3.7% rise in registration of cases as opposed to those booked in 2016 with the number of rape cases reportedly lowest since 2013, according to the Hindustan Times. In 2017, 32,559 rape cases were registered with 10,221 of the total 33,658 victims being minors, the data said.

The conviction rate for crimes against women was 24.5% in 2017, of which 35% were in Delhi. Gujarat (3.1%) and West Bengal (3.2%) were among the poor performers with their low conviction rates.

In total crimes under the Indian Penal Code, Uttar Pradesh recorded 10.1% cases. The report, prepared for the period January 1 and December 31, 2017, added that Uttar Pradesh and Delhi’s data could not be compared to other regions as online registrations in both regions led to an increase in reports.

In 2017, murder cases saw a 5.9% decline with at least 28,653 killings reported in the year, down from 30,450 cases recorded in 2016. Abduction cases, however, increased by 9% in 2017 as 95,893 cases were recorded against 88,808 in the previous year.

The report highlighted that several new crime categories, including criminal intimidation, and credit or debit card fraud, were included in the data. The bureau also collected data under “fake news and rumours” for the first time with majority of the cases reported from Madhya Pradesh (138), followed by Uttar Pradesh (32), and Kerala (18).

The number of cases of offences against the state was 9,013 in 2017 – a 30% increase – against 6,986 in 2016, the report showed. Cases under the Official Secrets Act had reduced from 30 in 2016 to 18 in 2017. The highest number of sedition cases were reported from Assam (19), followed by Haryana (13).

NCRB officials said information on mob lynchings, killing by khap panchayats, murder for religious reasons, and murder committed by influential people were not included in the list.

Under offences by “Anti-National Elements”, majority of the crimes were committed by Left Wing Extremist operatives (652), then North East insurgents (421), and militants (371). The bureau said the addition of the new categories had led to a delay in the report’s release.

“It is surprising that this data has not been published,” The Indian Express reported quoted an unidentified official as saying. “This data was ready and fully compiled and analysed. Only the top brass would know the reason why it has not been published.” Officials said the bureau decided to collate data on lynchings after a spate of incidents between 2015 and 2016.

The NCRB data was released after more than a year following criticism from the Opposition, which blamed the Centre for withholding the report that they claimed would provide valuable insight on the state of crime. The administration, however, refuted the charges saying the report could not be published without obtaining complete data from all regions.

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