Increase in FIRs for crimes against women

ISLAMABAD, June 4: Reportage of crimes against women registered an increase in March with an average 17 First Information Reports (FIRs) lodged per district as compared to the preceding month when 10 FIRs were filed, says a Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) report.

The report released Monday said that although rise in such cases is a cause for concern, it also indicates increased awareness to report these crimes when they occur.

FAFEN monitors visited 77 offices of District Police Officers (DPOs) to gather information on FIRs registered for 27 offences falling under the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Of the monitored districts, 27 were in Punjab, 21 in Sindh, 19 in KP, nine in Balochistan and one in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

In the observed month, there was a significant increase in reported cases of forced marriages that rose from 314 in 35 districts in February to 653 in 40 districts. Lahore (222), Okara (69) and Vehari (47) were the top reporting districts in March. Moreover, 108 cases of offences relating to marriage were also registered in 10 districts.

Rape was also widespread – 220 FIRs being filed in 43 districts in March compared to 147 registered in 33 districts the preceding month. In February, 193 cases of attack on modesty were reported in 33 districts while March saw the number rise to 270 in 38 districts.

There were also 37 cases of honour killings reported in March in 16 districts. The most cases were recorded in Ghotki (6), Kamber Shahdadkot (4) and Rajanpur (4). In February, 24 FIRs were filed for honour killings in 16 districts.

As many as 41,671 cases of crimes were reported in the monitored districts. Eighteen percent of these were crimes pertaining to property, followed by those involving physical harm to people (9%), threat and fraud (7%) and crimes against women (3%). Moreover, 64% were cases of other crimes.

A region-wise breakup shows that 65% of the total crimes were reported in Punjab. KP (23%), Sindh (10%) and Balochistan (1%) followed. There were also 148 cases recorded in ICT.

A better outreach, lack of parallel judicial systems and a higher confidence level between the police and the people are said to be the probable reasons for better crime reportage in Punjab than other regions.

During the monitored month, 7,388 FIRs were filed for crimes pertaining to property. Thirty five percent of these were lodged for theft, followed by motor vehicle lifting (23%) and robbery and dacoity (18%).There were 16% cases of motor vehicle snatching and 7% those of criminal trespass.

Of the 3,647 FIRs for crimes ensuing physical harm to people, hurt constituted 41% of the FIRs attempted murder (29%), murder (22%), accidental death (qatl-i-khata5%), illegal confinement (2%), accidental death (qatl-bis-sabab1%) and terrorism-related incidents (1%).

Furthermore, of the 2,778 FIRs lodged for threat and fraud, 57% were of counterfeiting currency. Cheating and criminal breach of trust followed with 15% cases each, criminal intimidation (7%), offences against public tranquility (6%), and fraudulent deeds and dispossession of property (1%).

Ten out of 77 districts reported more than half (52%) of the total crimes. Of these, eight districts were in Punjab and two in KP. Lahore, Faisalabad and Peshawar were the top reporting districts.