Shillong: Rape is the highest reported crime in Meghalaya where matrilineal system exists among the dominant tribes and victims of over 65 per cent of those cases were minors, the assembly was informed on Wednesday.
"The total number of rape cases registered between April 2012 and March 31, 2013 was 179, out of which 118 cases (over 65 per cent) involved victims below the age of 18," Home Minister Roshan Warjri said.
East Khasi Hills district recorded the highest number of rapes with 62 cases, followed by Ri-Bhoi district (32), West Khasi Hills (22), East Jaintia Hills (17), West Jaintia Hills (16), South West Khasi Hills and South Garo Hills (both eight) and West Garo Hills (six).
Among other districts, South West Garo Hills and East Garo Hills recorded three cases each, followed by North Garo Hills with two, the minister said, adding that charge-sheets have been filed in 52 cases so far.
She said altogether 91 cases of molestation were reported in the state during April 2012-March 2013 period. There were also other crimes against women like trafficking, cruelty by husband and dowry.
Replying to a cut motion moved by Opposition legislator Ardent Basaiawmoit, Warjri admitted that crimes against women have become a "matter of serious concern" and the state government has taken steps to combat the evil.
"Instructions have been given to all district superintendents of police for effective investigation of cases relating to crimes against women and to review all pending cases of rape," she said.
On militancy, the home minister said 165 militancy related incidents were reported in the state during the period and activities of the proscribed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) in the Garo Hills region continued to be a cause of concern for the government.