NEW DELHI: Akin to the rest of India, safety for women is a major concern in the state of Assam as well with disturbing albeit not surprising statistics having revealed the horrific picture that the state presents for its women.

According to the available data, between 2005 and 2014, in Assam, around 16,000 women were raped, around 1,400 killed for dowry and over 120 lynched in the name of witch-hunting, informed a Minister in the State Assembly. And the actual figures are only expected to be much more than this.

In addition, Rockybul Hussain, the Agriculture Minister for the State also revealed other figures relating to crimes against women during the above mentioned time period of nine years.

Informing that nearly 68,329 women were tortured and 15,931 were raped during the period, he said that as many as 78 women died after rape. The Minister added that 1,388 deaths were caused due to dowry and 123 women were killed in the name of witch-hunting in the state.

The numbers for the heinous crime of rape has increased drastically. While 1,217 women were raped and four died due to rape in 2005, a total of 2,047 women were raped in 2014 out of which 13 died. The highest rape-related deaths – 15 – occurred in 2012.

Besides rape, the year 2014 also encountered the highest dowry deaths. While there were 99 dowry deaths in 2005, the figure rose to 205 last year, Hussain informed the assembly.

As far as another horrendous crime of killing women in the name of witch-hunting goes, in 2005, 13 women were mercilessly murdered because of this superstition, while six women were killed last year. Witch-hunting took the highest toll in 2011 with 31 deaths, the minister said while replying to a question by Gul Akhtara Begum of the All India United Democratic Front.

Hussain added that witch-hunting cases have shown a declining trend due to precautionary moves and awareness campaigns launched by the state government.

However, this issue of witch-hunting has attracted immense attention recently, with many new cases of assaults having been reported this year.

Apprising the State Assembly on the arrests made, Hussain said that 47,298 people were arrested in the last nine years over their involvement in all the cases. While the police have charge-sheeted 44,877 people, 1,385 of them have been punished by courts and trials were on for the rest of the accused.

These disconcerting figures paint a grim and a shameful picture of the state, however, it is only similar to what other areas like Delhi, Mumbai and UP exhibit. In the recent scenario where women issues have started gaining grounds, such alarming statistics only go on to prove how women are mistreated almost everywhere.