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Shillong: While there has been a rise in crime against women and children in the state, people are now coming forward to report such cases and bringing the culprits to book, said Meghalaya home minister Lahkmen Rymbui on Tuesday.

The home minister’s statement came in the backdrop of a rise in alleged rape cases in Garo Hills.

“Earlier, most cases would go unreported to the police, the women’s commission or child rights’ commission. But now, locals don’t fear to report such cases knowing well that there is an assurance of the victims’ identity would be protected,” said Rymbui.

The government has also made it mandatory to protect the identity of the victims, he added.

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“The women have understood their rights and to speak up against this evil. The children understand that there is a law to protect them and there is a society who will not discriminate against them. That is why they have no fear in reporting such cases,” explained Rymbui.

He also lauded civil society and the people in the villages, since they have ensured that such crimes are not tolerated. “It is only with the active participation of civil societies that people are able to raise these voices,” said Rymbui.

Rymbui informed that due to the low percentage of women police officers, it has been mandated that a 10% reservation be made for women. “I hope that with the intervention of civil society and the police department, we will be able to prevent and, if possible, prosecute these people committing such crimes,” added Rymbui.

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