With rape cases, dowry deaths, acid attacks and assault incidents against women hogging the headlines everyday in India, safety is among the top concerns for women residing in the country and the tourists. As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report of 2012, north eastern states of Nagaland and Sikkim are the safest hubs for women as they have lowest crime rate against women.
Tourist hub Goa could not feature in top spot and is rather the third safest state in India. Tourism industry took a big hit after the 16 December gang-rape incident of a 23-year-old medical student who succumbed to injuries after six men raped her in a moving bus.
According to a survey by the Indian Chambers of Commerce, there was a 35 percent decline in the number of female tourists this year. Among the 6.65 million foreign tourists, who visited the country in 2012, 40 percent were women.
Attacks on foreign women tourists seem to have taken a toll on the number of women visiting the country. In March this year, a British woman was attacked at her hotel in Agra, one of India's most popular tourist hubs. The man, who tried to barge into her room, was later reported to be a relative of the hotel owner.
On March 15, a 39-year-old Swiss woman was gang-raped, beaten up and robbed at gunpoint in Madhya Pradesh. She was camping in a forest along with her husband on their cycling trip when six men in their 20s hand-cuffed the husband and raped the woman. All the six were convicted and sentence to life imprsionment last month by a court.
A recent essay written by a Chicago university student also made heads turn in aversion, giving a picture to what female tourists and residents go through in India.
Michaela Cross, who left India a few days before the Delhi gang-rape incident, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress on her return to the US. In her essay, cited by CNN iReport, she wrote, "Do I tell them about bargaining at the bazaar for beautiful saris costing a few dollars a piece, and not mention the men who stood watching us, who would push by us, clawing at our breasts and groins? When people compliment me on my Indian sandals, do I talk about the man who stalked me for forty-five minutes after I purchased them, until I yelled in his face in a busy crowd?"
The report has got more than a million views on the CNN website and nearly 99 thousand online shares.
Even the latest rape case of a 22-year-old photojournalist in Mumbai has evoked strong reactions from the people in India and abroad. Political parties, journalists and social activists hit the streets of Mumbai and various Indian cities to protest against the growing crime rate against women.
The figures of the report by NCRB suggest that among the Indian states, Nagaland has lowest crime rate against women in 2012. More than 23 cases of rape were reported from the state in 2011 but it reduced to 21 in 2012 according to NCRB report.
Another north eastern state with the least number of criminal cases against women is Arunachal Pradesh. 46 cases of rape were reported in the state in 2012 and 58 incidents of kidnapping or abduction of women.
Manipur, another state belonging to the seven sisters of India, recorded 53 incidents of rape in 2012 and 133 cases of kidnapping or abduction.
Check Top 5 Safest Indian States for Women to Live: