As many as 68 (Sixty Eight) Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 (POCSO) cases have been registered in Sikkim this year as per the data released by Sikkim police. Data counts till month of August only. Among 68, 36 alone are from East district which is very obvious that population density is very high in East district and major chunk of Sikkimese people resides in east district and capital Gangtok is also in east. Meanwhile, 18, 11 and 3 cases were reported from South, West and North districts respectively this year till August.
North Sikkim has registered very low number of POCSO cases, it may be due to low density of population and it has only three constituency and large part of its area are forest reserve. While last year, that is 2019 a total of 84 POCSO cases were reported in a whole year and when we compare to this year it is just 68 and still four month is yet to pass but in the year 2018, as many as 121 POCSO cases were reported which is highest yearly recorded number.
But interestingly, out of total sixty eight registered cases, 39 are under investigation, 34 cases are under trial, 1 convicted in trial court, 4 are acquitted in trial court and 1case appealed in High Court. This clearly reveals only fifty percent of total cases that is 34 cases were convicted in trial court while remaining cases are under investigations.
While DIG( Range) and Spokesperson of Sikkim Police Prawin Gurung earlier had informed that Since the extension of the POCSO Act in 2012, five POCSO cases were recorded in 2013 in Sik-
kim, which increased to 49 in 2014, 60 in 2015, 102 in 2016, 82 in 2017, 121 in 2018, 84 in 2019 and over 50 cases already so far this year, the DIG detailed.
He mentioned that 44% of POCSO cases were registered in East District, 33% in South District, 17% in West District and 05% in North Districts while seeing total numbers of POCSO cases registered in the State. So looking at the data, one can easily ascertain that there is increase in crime against children as nowadays victims and their family have been coming out and reporting such crimes which is also sign of increase in awareness.
Meanwhile, yesterday also one POCSO case was reported from Namchi, South Sikkim wherein one Krishna Chettri, 60 yrs have been booked under POCSO for allegedly sexually assaulting 5 year old niece which was witnessed by aunt of the victim and later saved the victim from the assailant.
Report by Prakash, Special Correspondent Sikkim