In what qualifies as startling crime statistics,the Chandigarh Police have arrested 833 women on various charges in the past five years. While the number of women arrested in 2007 stood at 156,the following year saw a marginal increase with 187 arrests.
In 2008,one woman was arrested for murder,three for attempt to murder,9 for rioting,6 for causing hurt,1 for burglary while another forty were arrested for theft.
In 2007,three women were arrested for murder while an equal number was arrested for rioting. There were also 13 arrests in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) cases while another 24 were apprehended in theft cases.
Nine women were also arrested for rash and negligent driving last year while another woman was booked for receiving stolen property. Two others were arrested in the same year for criminal breach of trust.
In cases of drug peddling,there were 11 arrests last year,which was marginally less than the 2007 figure of 13. While drug-related cases stood at five in 2005 and seven in 2004,there was an astonishing rise in 2006 with the figure standing at a staggering 30.
Interestingly,one woman,Nancy,was arrested more than thrice in 2006 on similar charges of drug peddling. In 2008,one woman was also been arrested under the Foreigners Act for overstay in the country,while another 17 were arrested for immoral trafficking in the same year.
Dr Ashok Gupta,a psychologist,explains the trend. Women are being recruited in gangs. If a woman approaches a man or another woman to elicit information,that person is likely to feel less threatened than being approached by a man, says Gupta. He adds,A traumatic incident during childhood can also make women take to crime later in life.
On the increasing role of woman in drug-peddling cases,a police officer said: Frisking of women is rarely carried out due to the less number of female police officers. This allows them to easily execute the task of drug smuggling. The police officer added that while crimes by women were earlier confined to immoral trafficking and drug peddling,they are now switching over to more heinous crimes.
* On October 31 last year,Puja Negi from Sector 39 was arrested for her alleged involvement in the web-extortion racket involving kingpin Surya Aanch.
* A girl was apparently part of a teenage gang who fled with Rs 5 lakh from a ring ceremony party held in Hotel Taj in February 2008.
* A former booking clerk with the Municipal Corporation,Usha Rani,was sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment by the Central Bureau of Investigation last week for her alleged involvement in the embezzlement of funds worth Rs 1.24 lakh in 1997.
* The crime branch of the Chandigarh Police arrested Bala in July 2004 in over a dozen cases of burglary and also recovered gold ornaments from her possession. The police explained her modus operandi: move in streets as a rag-picker,identify a house,track the owners movements and then commit burglary.
* The Operations Cell arrested Kamaljit Kaur alias Sunita (40) on charges of theft and cheating in September 2007. She hitched rides from car drivers with the intention of first drugging and then robbing them,the police had said.
Age no bar
An elderly lady,Shilinder Kaur along with her son was arrested last year for the murder of a Hallomajra resident Nirmal Singh. The woman had apparently thrown a huge stone from the terrace on her neighbour Nirmal Singh following an ongoing scuffle that caused him a head injury. A profusely bleeding Nirmal Singh had died after a huge drama of custodial death was created. Five police officers were also suspended,but the inquiry report had nailed Shilinder Kaur and her son for the gruesome act. A challan has been filed in the court in the case.