Ajay Kumar Mishra, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs on 26, July 2023 at Rajya Sabha answered multiple questions on missing women in the country. The report revealed that a total of 424252 females including 82084 girls under the age of 18 and 342168 women above 18 went missing in 2019, 423655 females including 79233 girls and 344422 women went missing in 2020 and 465171 women including 90113 girls and 375058 women were reported missing in 2021.
It is alarming to see that the count appears to be increasing every year. In 2019, Maharastra accounts for the highest number of missing females with a total of 67746 including 4579 girls and 63167 women. This is followed by West Bengal with 66195 females including 11847 girls and 54348 women. Madhya Pradesh is in third place in the list with a total of 65434 females missing including 13315 girls and 52119 women missing.
The 2020 data shows Madhya Pradesh accounting for the highest missing females with a total of 64242, out of which 11885 are minor girls and 52357 are women. Maharashtra is second highest with a total of 63252 females out of which 4517 are girls and 58735 are women. And West Bengal is in third place with 63040 missing females out of which 11481 are minor girls and 51559 are women.
In 2020, the count of missing minor girls appears to be slightly less than the previous year. However, it increased aggressively in 2021. Madhya Pradesh has accounted highest number of missing females with a total of 68738 out of which 13034 are girls and 55704 are women. West Bengal comes next with a total of 64276 females missing including 13278 girls and 50998 women, followed by Maharashtra with a total of 60432 females including 3937 girls and 56495 women.
When we check the NCRB data, we also get the additional details of missing females remaining untraced in 2021. Madhya Pradesh has a recovery rate of 51.6% with 33274 women including minor girls remaining missing. Maharashtra has a recovery rate of 65.9% as 20630 females are still untraced. West Bengal has a recovery rate of 45.4% as the unrecovered female count appears to be 35110. The data of unrecovered females include the previous years unrecovered count also.
It is to be noted that Mizoram and one of the Union Territories Lakshadweep reported no missing cases of women from 2019 to 2021. And Arunachal Pradesh has a very less number of missing female records when compared to the other states. The count further appears to be decreasing to 2 in 2021. And the recovery rate of Arunachal Pradesh is at 100% with no females remaining missing. Punjab is found to be with least recovery rate at 20.6%. The average recovery rate of all states and union territories in India for the year 2021 is at 68.4%. 203893 females including minor girls are still untraced.
The count of missing females in Tamil Nadu appears to be increasing from 15658 females (4022 minor girls, 11636 women) in 2019 to 18298 females (4420 minor girls, 13878 women) in 2020 which further increased to 23964 females (5949 girls, 18015 women) in 2021. The recovery rate is seen at 70.1% with 7164 females remain missing as per the data published on the NCRB website.
Ajay Kumar Mishra further answered that the government is taking cognizance of reports of all missing girls and women. He also stated that it is the responsibility of respective state governments to maintain law and order and to protect life and property which the state governments are competent to deal with under the extant provisions of law. He also listed the initiatives taken by the government of India for women’s safety.