Madhya Pradesh continued to be the state with the highest number of rape cases registered in the country for the third consecutive year in 2018.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report released on Wednesday, the state accounted for a little over 16 per cent of the country's total 33,356 rape cases registered in 2018.
According to the report, as many as 5,433 rape cases, including 54 involving victims below six years of age, were reported in Madhya Pradesh in 2018.
In 2016 and 2017 also, the state had topped the chart in terms of the number of rape cases.
But the number of rape cases registered in 2018 is smaller as compared to 2017, when 5,562 cases were reported in the state, the report by the NCRB, a government agency responsible for collecting and analysing crime data, has revealed.
However, the number of rape cases in the state has gone up in 2018 as compared to 2016, when 4,882 cases were reported, it said.
Besides, 2,841 cases of rape involving victims below 18 years of age were reported in 2018 in the state. Of these, in 54 cases, the victims were below six years of age, while 142 victims were in the age group of 6 to 12 years.
The data also said that in 1,143 cases in the state in 2018, the victims were in the age group of 12 to 16, while in 1,502 cases they were between 16 and 18 years of age.
In 2016, in 2,479 rape cases the victims below 18 years of age in Madhya Pradesh. They included 39 girls below six years of age.
As many as 3,082 cases of rape with girls below 18 years, including 50 below six years of age were reported in 2017.
In 2018, Madhya Pradesh was followed by Rajasthan (4,335), Uttar Pradesh (3,946), Maharashtra (2,142) and Chhattisgarh (2,091) in the number of rape cases registered, the report said.
As per the data provided by the Madhya Pradesh Prosecution Department, the courts in the state had awarded capital punishment to the convicts in 18 cases of rapes against minors in 2018.