State has most women murderers in country
(Times of India, Mumbai edition, 25 October, 2010 Page no. 01)
Mumbai: Backed into a corner by an apathetic society weighing heavily in favour of men, an increasing number of women in Maharashtra are resorting to the heinous recourse of murder. Last year alone, more than 650 women were arrested across the state for killing their husbands or lovers, children or others. This figure is the highest in the country, and nearly 48% more than second-placed Andhra Pradesh.
In most cases, police say, the women were first-time offenders and committed the crime either out of betrayal or exploitation, or in the throes of poverty and homelessness. “A woman commits homicide either due to extreme isolation and deprivation due to her husband’s extramarital affair, or her own involvement with another man,’’ said joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy. “Almost 99% of them are first-time criminals.’’
‘Crime in India’ reports compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau show that the number of women arrested for various criminal activities in India in 2003 was 1,51,675; by 2007, it rose to 1,54,635. “The nature of crimes committed by them too is witnessing a sea change. From softer crimes like drug trafficking and prostitution to heinous acts like murder: 3,543 women were arrested for murder in 2005 and 3,812 in 2007. That is an increase from 5.4% to 6%,’’ an NCRB report says.
In Maharashtra, the figure has grown from 576 in 2005 to 652 in 2009 (the numbers crested in 2007, when a record 711 women were arrested for homicide).
33 women held in Mumbai for killings in 2009
Mumbai: The trend of women resorting to murder has been increasing in many states across the nation, including in Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar and Punjab. In Andhra Pradesh, though, the numbers have fallen from 458 in 2005 to 442 in 2009. Incongruously, the country’s crime capital, Delhi, has always stayed close to the bottom of the ignominious list. In 2005, 40 women were arrested for murder, while last year, the figure was just 53.
Closer home, in Mumbai, 2008 was the worst year, with 38 women being put under arrest for murder; last year, it was 33. Salma Shaikh (name changed) was one of them.
A 23-year-old resident of Bharat Nagar in Bandra (E), Shaikh was attacked with a knife and raped by a cousin of her husband in the wee hours of August 14 last year. Minutes later, Shaikh stabbed him to death with the same knife.
The incident occurred around 3.00 am. While Shaikh’s husband was in a drunken slumber, 29-yearold Mohammed Ansari forcibly entered their house and dragged Shaikh out at knifepoint.
In her statement to the police, Shaikh said that Ansari slashed her neck and punched and pushed her into a shanty. When she refused to undress, he knifed her in the abdomen and raped her. After the act, Ansari threatened to kill her. “A traumatized Shaikh picked up the knife lying on the floor, grabbed him by his hair and slit his throat, killing him instantly,’’ said the police. The case is pending in court.
In another case, 30-yearold Sunita Waghmare killed Devidas Ghodmare, 32, who repeatedly threatened to sell her into prostitution. Residents of a chawl in Nalasopara, the two were playing a card game called ‘Do Patti’—in which players are blindfolded and tied up-—when Waghmare bludgeoned Ghodmare with iron rods collected from construction sites. She ensured he was dead by driving a knife into his heart.
Jalinder Khandagale, assistant commissioner of police (Trombay division), said that women committing murder is nothing new. “In 1983, when I was posted as a sub-inspector at Kapurbawdi police station in Thane, a case of murder was solved in which a woman was accused of killing her husband because she suspected him of having an affair,’’ Khandagale said.