The parliamentary standing committee on home affairs will discuss atrocities and crimes against women on November 18 and call Union home ministry officials to discuss the matter before preparing a report on the subject.

The panel is taking up the matter in the backdrop of a 19-year-old Dalit woman’s alleged rape and murder in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras that provoked outrage. The woman’s family alleged the state police forced her cremation, triggering protests.

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The 19-year-old woman from Hathras died in a Delhi hospital after the assault. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against the prime accused, Sandip Singh. He along and three others, all from the upper castes, are in jail. They were named by the victim before she died on September 29.

The committee, according to officials, will meet a number of women groups and legal experts before finalising its report. The panel may ask for stricter measures to tackle this menace.

A few months ago, the committee also discussed the issue of “Rising Crime in Delhi and NCR”, with a sharp focus on crime against women and incidents of burglary in the national capital.

The rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in 2012 in New Delhi led to the passage of a tougher law against sexual violence that provides for the death penalty for rape as well. But that did not stop crimes against women.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, 88 rape cases were reported on an average daily in 2019. Many experts believe that these figures might not portray the actual ground situation as many cases of violence against women are not reported due to social stigma attached to rape.

The home ministry panel, led by Congress leader Anand Sharma, will also take up national security, intelligence coordination and counter terrorism, police training, modernisation and reforms, prison conditions and its infrastructure and reforms, development activities in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, and the management of Covid-19 pandemic and related issues at a later stage.

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