New Delhi: Amid a public outcry over a brutal sexual assault on a five-year-old girl here, a report by rights group Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) shows there has been an increase of 336 percent in cases of child rapes from 2001-11.
The `India`s Hell Holes: Child Sexual Assault in Juvenile Justice Homes` report, circulated on Saturday, said sexual offences against children in India have reached an epidemic proportion and a large number of them are being committed in the juvenile justice homes run and aided by the government.
The 56-page report, citing National Crime Records Bureau statistics, said that a total of 48,338 child rapes were recorded from 2001-11 and the country recorded an increase of 336 percent in child rapes from 2001 (2,113 cases) to 2011 (7,112 cases).
"This is only the tip of the iceberg as the large majority of child rapes are not reported to police while children regularly become victims of other forms of sexual assault too," said a statement from ACHR.
Among the states, Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of child rapes with 9,465 cases from 2001-11, followed by Maharashtra with 6,868 cases.
Uttar Pradesh with 5,949 cases was third, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 3,977, Chhattisgarh 3,688 and Delhi 2,909.
The report also said many of the child rapes took place in juvenile justice homes.
"It will not be an understatement to state that juvenile justice homes, established to provide care and protection as well as re-integration, rehabilitation and restoration of the juveniles in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection, have become India`s hell holes where inmates are subjected to sexual assault and exploitation, torture and ill treatment apart from being forced to live in inhuman conditions," said Suhas Chakma, director, ACHR.
"The girls remain to be the most vulnerable. It matters little, whether the juvenile justice homes are situated in Delhi or in mofussil towns," he added.
The recent outrage in the national of the five-year girl`s rape follows her abduction on April 15 and sexual assault for a couple of days by her neighbour in east Delhi. The accused has been arrested.