The recent incidents of brutal rape and murder in Haryana have put a question mark on the safety of women in the state despite Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s promise to make the state “safe and secure”.

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Haryana was ranked third in crime. In 2015, the NCRB recorded highest number of gang rape cases in Haryana.

In 2016, Haryana reported 1,090 murders, 1189 rapes, 191 gang rapes, and 4019 kidnappings and abductions. This translates to around three murders, three rapes, and 11 kidnappings and abductions per day.

Sarvesh Tiwari, General Secretary, Nibhaya Jyoti Trust, said, “The news of three rapes in Haryana at the beginning of the year has come as a rude shock and revived memories of the brutal Nirbhaya gang rape case. It is alarming that even after six years the nation is yet to learn a lesson from the infamous gang rape case.”

He said the government recently highlighted the improvement of sex ratio in the state but this cannot be regarded as a success unless the issue of women’s safety is addressed.

“The incidents point to grave lapses in law and order and deeply ingrained parochial mindset. Perpetrators of crime should be brought to book immediately. Unless we change our mindset and check rising crimes against women, we cannot call ourselves a truly progressive nation,” said Tiwari.

In May and December 2016, the state witnessed two brutal cases of rape and murder, one involving a 23-year-old woman from Sonipat and the other a six-year-old girl from Uklana in Hisar.

The year 2018 has just begun and the state has already witnessed four brutal rape cases. In Jind a Dalit girl was found semi naked. A medical report said she was gang-raped and an object was thrust into her body that ruptured her liver.

In Faridabad a young woman returning from work was abducted and raped in a moving car on Saturday. In Panipat an 11-year-old Dalit girl was strangled with her own shawl by two men who later had sex with her corpse, according to the police.

The recent spate of crimes has alarmed the people of Haryana who have started questioning the BJP government on the issue of women’s safety.

“The Chief Minister has opened a 24-hour women’s helpline number and women’s police squad but where are they?” asked Seema Chillar, a resident of Jind.

“Can transferring police officials after incidents stop the crimes? The government just wants to allay public feelings,” said Chillar.

“The fact that such brazen incidents are recurring only indicates that our system is sleeping. BJP voiced their opinion formidably in the Nirbhaya case when they were in the Opposition. What has happened to their tall talk now and why is the number of rapes increasing with each passing day? What measures have been adopted by the state to ensure that women feel secure in public places?” asked Shafeeq of Empower People, an NGO.