DID ANYBODY SAY MUMBAI IS SAFE FOR WOMEN?

Mumbai Mirror | Updated: Dec 8, 2016, 02.53 AM IST

A woman raped and murdered in the safety of her house in Vile Parle and another killed by a chain snatcher who pushed her into the path of a train in Kurla. Two crimes against women in less than 24 hours have once again brought into question Mumbai’s fast diminishing reputation of being a city safe for women.

Early on Tuesday morning, Shraddha Panchal, a 25-year-old physiotherapist, was raped and murdered, and her face partially burnt at her Vile Parle apartment by two men, who, police suspect, were her friends. In the evening around 8.15 pm, a chain snatcher pushed Sapna Shukla, 24, an employee of HDFC Life into the path of an oncoming train at Kurla. Sapna, who had moved to Mumbai recently from Lucknow, was waiting to catch a train to Ghatkopar where she had rented an apartment.

Both women – young and ambitious – had bought into the narrative of Mumbai being India’s safest city for women. A place where they could be themselves and yet compete to grow in their professions by dint of hard work and talent. Those dreams lay shattered on Tuesday.

This year, the Mumbai police have already registered around 4,311 cases of crimes against women. These figures are only for 10 months –January to October. All of last year, it had registered 4027 cases of crimes against women. That is a rise of 284 cases with figures of two more months yet to be collated. This year, thirty women have already been murdered as compared to 20 last year and cases of molestation have risen to 1816 from 1693. There have been 511 rapes so far this year, while last year the total number was 599.

According to a Times of India report last month, which quoted data released by Oxford Economics, the city has ceded its position as economic capital of India to Delhi. Now under threat is Mumbai’s position as a city women prefer to work in.