These distressing incidents have raised a pressing question: is Kerala, often celebrated as “God’s own country,” undergoing a troubling transformation into a major crime hotspot in India?…writes Shelja Pallath
In a deeply disturbing incident that has sent shockwaves throughout central Kerala, a minor girl was allegedly abducted, subjected to sexual assault, and then abandoned in a paddy field in the Aluva region. Local law enforcement officials have reported that the young victim underwent surgery to address the injuries sustained during this brutal assault. This horrifying incident has understandably sparked outrage.
Tragically, this is not an isolated case. Just a month ago, another heart-wrenching incident unfolded in the same locality, where a five-year-old girl was abducted and tragically killed. Her lifeless body was discovered in a waste-dumping area in the market.
In the initial scenario, the discussions revolved around migrant workers and their prior criminal records. Individuals who come to Kerala in search of employment often have significant criminal histories in their hometowns, which remain undisclosed in Kerala and at their workplaces. However, it’s important to note that the recent incident cannot be entirely equated with the Aluva murder case, as the suspect, Christal Raj, is a Malayali hailing from Trivandrum.
These distressing incidents have raised a pressing question: is Kerala, often celebrated as “God’s own country,” undergoing a troubling transformation into a major crime hotspot in India? The recent surge in crime statistics, surpassing even states like Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, challenges Kerala’s peaceful reputation and warrants serious attention.
According to data from the State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB), there were a total of 5,315 cases were registered concerning crimes against children in 2022. Furthermore, the state saw the registration of 4,586 cases under the POCSO Act in the preceding year. The state has consistently ranked at the forefront in terms of sex ratio and women’s education. However, ironically, it has now become a focal point for crimes against women. Judging by the increasing number of reported cases of crimes against women, Kerala seems to be rapidly transforming into an unsafe environment for them.
It is high time we acknowledge and address the glaring apathy within our law enforcement system. Urgent measures must be taken to rectify these shortcomings. Otherwise, all the remarkable achievements that the state has attained in the realm of women’s empowerment will ultimately lose their significance and impact.