Karnataka has reported a 18.74 percent increase in the number of POCSO cases till July 2022 compared to the first seven months of 2021.
Karnataka is witnessing an increase in the number of cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act-2012 for a second consecutive year. Data available on the Karnataka State Police website shows that the number of cases registered within the last seven months (till July) has gone up by 18.74 percent compared to the first seven months of 2021. Karnataka has reported 1,590 cases till July, out of which 244 cases were from Bengaluru city.
Nagamani, child coordinator of Child Right Trust said, “Karnataka has two fast-track special courts, cases are pending from the previous years and the conviction rate is slow.”
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data of 2021 shows that in 99.9 percent of the cases, the culprits were related to the victims.
Child Coordinator of Enfold, Kushi Kushallapa said, “The number of cases in Karnataka is going up, as the cases are being reported while there are a few states in India where this kind of cases go unreported.” She said there is a huge percentage of children “in consensual relationships” who get apprehended when they go for medical interventions.
Enfold works with the ‘child survivors of sexual abuse, and with other vulnerable children, who need support and care in Bengaluru.’
In a recent case, a Lingayat seer had been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing two minor girls. A report states that “The Mysuru city police had recently filed an FIR against the seer under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and certain sections of the Indian Penal Code for the alleged sexual abuse.” A local court on Sept. 5 ordered the chief pontiff of Murugha Math Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, to be sent to judicial custody till Sept. 14.
A police officer at Banashankari Police Station said, “Compared to previous years, there is awareness among the people about POCSO.”
In 2021, the state reported a 14.59 percent increase in the number of cases compared to 2020, which recorded a slight decline compared to the previous year.
“We need to have a child-friendly system and safe environment for these children. It’s our responsibility as a society to support these children through this journey. POCSO Act is very good if we utilize it properly,” said Nagamani.