The data, released by the national crime records bureau (NCRB) shows that a total of 2,750 juveniles were arrested in 2019 on charges of rape, assault on women and attempted rape, cumulatively. Of these, 1,383 and 1,327 were arrested for rape and assault, respectively.
Comparatively, the number of arrested on all three charges cumulatively was nearly 15% more in 2018, while those arrested on rape specifically was around 17% more than in 2019.
A psychologist while stating that an adolescent mind does not worry about consequences, argued for better sex education, among other necessary measures.
A state-wise analysis of those arrested for rapes and assault on women show that Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan accounting for most of them — together, they account for 58% of juvenile arrests on charges of assaulting women, and 47% of those apprehended for rape.
While Madhya Pradesh tops the chart in both categories, with 295 arrests for rape and 348 on charges of assault, it is followed by Maharashtra (197 and 365).
Dr BN Gangadhar, director, Nimhans, told TOI that unlike in crimes like theft, burglary and others, those committing rapes should not be exonerated on grounds of age. “Rape is a wilful act,” he said.
“…And just as arousal is a natural phenomenon — occurring much earlier than the age of 16 or 18 — there is a natural responsibility to bear restraint. Such restraint is deemed natural along with arousal. We must redefine the age at which most people are sexually mature,” he said.
Analysis of the trend in the past four years shows that the number of arrests are actually decreasing. Compared to 2,750 arrests in all three categories put together in 2019, it was 3,258 in 2018, and even lesser in 2017 and 2016 ( see graphic).
A total of 13,197 minors were held on these charges in the past four years, most of them on charges of rape.