Rule of law goes for a toss as crimes rise 1.3% in 2018

Uttar Pradesh again tops list of crimes against women last year, while Madhya Pradesh records most rapes during the period, reports Mudit Mathur

A dangerous sign has emerged from the recently released analyses of crimes report 2018 by National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB) which disclosed that graph of crimes had grown by 1.3 percent as compared to 2017. The report gives dangerous indications because its signifies that all the mechanism of rule of law have miserably failed because of lack effective policing, free and fair investigations, speedy trials, weak prosecutions due to political and bureaucratic interference in the appointment of advocate prosecutors and above all undue delays and non-production of credible evidences before trial courts have resulted in declining rate of conviction. All these factors underline the much needed implementation of police reforms as directed by Supreme Court in the case of Prakash Singh, an IPS officer and former DG of Uttar Pradesh.

Uttar Pradesh again tops list of Crimes against women, Madhya Pradesh reported most rapes in 2018. Cruelty by husband or his relatives and assault with intent to outrage modesty constituted the major share of crimes and atrocities against women, data from the NCRB showed.Overall crime in India increased 1.3 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017, with more than 50 lakh cognisable crimes getting registered. However, crime rate per lakh population was down to 383.5 in 2018 from 388.6 the year before.

An average of 80 murders, 289 kidnappings and 91 rapes were reported every single day across the country in 2018, according to the latest data by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). A total of 29,017 cases of murder were registered during 2018, showing an increase of 1.3 per cent over 2017 (28,653 cases). Altogether, 50,74,634 cognizable crimes comprising 31,32,954 Indian Penal Code (IPC) crimes and 19,41,680 Special and Local Laws (SLL) crimes were registered in 2018, up from 50,07,044 in 2017, the data stated. A cognizable offence or case is defined as the one which an officer incharge of a police station may investigate without the order of a magistrate and effect arrest without warrant.

The National Crime Records Bureau has recorded that Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh — two of the major states in the Hindi heartland,depicts the worst when it comes to security for women. The Report analyzed that 3.78 lakh cases of crime against women were reported in 2018 wherein Uttar Pradesh registered highest cases to the tune of 59,445 cases. The state had topped the list in 2017 too shows no signs of improvement.

Shocking facts were also revealed from Madhya Pradesh where it recorded an average of 15 cases of rapesper day topping the listwith 5,450 rape cases. Uttar Pradesh was followed by Maharashtra — 35,497 cases of crimes against women — and West Bengal — 30,394 cases.

The national conviction rate in rape cases was 27.2 per cent even though the rate of filing charge sheets was 85.3 per cent. Cruelty by husband or his relatives (31.9 per cent), and assault with intent to outrage modesty (27.6 per cent) constituted the major share of crimes against women, the report described. This data assume significance in the backdrop of a number of gruesome cases of murder and alleged rape across India that agitated the conscience of the nation triggering media debates and people’s protests.

In November, four men allegedly raped and murdered a woman in Hyderabad. They burnt her body and escaped the scene. Hyderabad Police caught the accused in full public view but latter all of them were shot dead by police in its custody under controversial circumstances in early December. Days after the Hyderabad incident, a rape complainant in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district was burnt alive by five men, including two men she had accused of sexually assaulting her. A state legislator and former BharatiyaJanata Party leader Kuldeep Singh Sengar was also convicted for raping a teenager, and sentenced to life recently.

LESS FARMERS SUCIDES

A total of 10,349 farmers committed suicide in 2018, shows NCRB data. The 2018 figure is less in comparison to 2016 when 11,379 farmers committed suicide, according to the agency which is responsible for collecting and analysing crime data. At least 10,349 people working in the farm sector ended their lives in 2018, accounting for 7.7 per cent of the total number of suicides in the country which was 1,34,516, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).The 2018 figure is less in comparison to 2016 when 11,379 farmers committed suicide, according to the agency which is responsible for collecting and analysing crime data.

Many states and union territories have reported nil data on suicides by farmers, cultivators and farm labourers. “West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Goa, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported zero suicides of farmers/cultivators as well as agricultural labourers,” the NCRB report said. However, the data of 2017 was not made public by the NCRB. According to the report, a vast majority of farmers who committed suicide were men. “A total of 10,349 persons involved in farming sector (consisting of 5,763 farmers/cultivators and 4,586 agricultural labourers) have committed suicides during 2018, accounting for 7.7 per cent of total suicides in the country,” the report said.

Overall, a total of 1,34,516 suicides were reported in the country in 2018, showing an increase of 3.6 per cent in comparison to 2017 when 1,29,887 people ended their lives, the report said. Majority of suicides were reported in Maharashtra (17,972) followed by Tamil Nadu (13,896), West Bengal (13,255), Madhya Pradesh (11,775) and Karnataka (11,561), accounting for 13.4, 10.3, 9.9, 8.8 and 8.6 per cent respectively, it said. “These five states together accounted for 50.9 per cent of the total suicides reported in the country. The remaining 49.1 per cent suicides were reported in the remaining 24 states and 7 UTs,” the reportmentioned.

Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state with 16.9 per cent share of the country’s population, has reported comparatively lower percentage share of suicidal deaths, accounting for only 3.6 per cent of the total suicides in the country in 2018. Delhi, which is the most-populous UT, has reported the highest number of suicides (2,526) among UTs, followed by Puducherry (500).

Domestic violence

Domestic violence against women figures as the top category of violence against women in 2018, according to data from the ‘Crimes in India — 2018’ report compiled by the NCRB.‘Disputes’ (9,623 cases) were the motive in highest number of murder cases during the year followed by ‘personal vendetta or enmity’ (3,875 cases) and ‘gain’ (2,995 cases), the data stated.

Kidnapping and abduction cases showed a jump of 10.3 per cent in 2018 when 1,05,734 FIRs were registered. In 2017, 95,893 such cases were registered, while the number stood at 88,008 in 2016, the NCRB said. A total of 1,05,536 (24,665 male and 80,871 female) persons were reported kidnapped or abducted, out of which 63,356 (15,250 male and 48,106 female) were children and 42,180 (9,415 male and 32,765 female) were adult during 2018, the data showed.During 2018, a total of 92,137 kidnapped or abducted persons (22,755 male and 69,382 female) were recovered out of which 91,709 were recovered alive and 428 persons were dead, the NCRB remarked.

The number of cases registered under the ‘crime against women’ category in 2018 was 3,78,277, up from 3,59,849 in 2017 and 3,38,954 in 2016. The number of rape cases, as defined in IPC section 376, were 33,356 in 2018.In 2017, 32,559 rape cases were registered, while in 2016 the number stood at 38,947, the data stated.

According to the NCRB, though the overall crime numbers show an increase of 1.3 per cent in registration of cases over 2017 (50,07,044 cases), crime rate per lakh population has come down from 388.6 in 2017 to 383.5 in 2018. The NCRB, under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, is responsible for collecting and analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code and special and local laws in the country.

[email protected]