September 18, 2021 11:58:00 am
Cases of crime against senior citizens and members of the Scheduled Caste increased in Haryana while those against women witnessed a decline in 2020, the year that remained largely marred by Covid pandemic, a report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has revealed.
The report invoked sharp reaction from Opposition Congress, which said that “the wrong policies of BJP government have converted the peaceful state into a crime hub, where, on average, three murders, four rapes and eight kidnappings are occurring each day”.
According to NCRB report, 650 cases of crime against senior citizens (60 years and above) were registered in Haryana in 2020 compared to 384 in 2019 and 571 in 2018. Pan India 23,810 such FIRs were registered in 2020 as against 26,669 in 2019 and 23,498 in 2018.
The number of cases of crime and atrocities against SCs also increased in 2020 with 1,210 FIRs being lodged, which was a substantial increase over 1,086 cases in 2019 and 961 in 2018. Similar trend of rise has been witnessed in overall figures of the FIRs of crime against SCs in the country too.
Haryana DGP PK Agrawal said the numbers are not alarming and slight variations are possible because of local factors but added that they will analyse the report. Talking about the cases related to SCs, Agarwal said more people are coming forward to lodge their complaint as “we offer a system of ease of reporting”. “Whenever any crime or complaint is reported, we lodge the case and investigate. Haryana is among a few states which has an efficient online grievance redressal system,” the DGP said.
A Dalit activist from Jind, Devi Das said: “Even if an FIR is registered, the police often tries to pressurise the (Dalit) complainant for a compromise. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes needs to be made more powerful, including being granted the provision of magisterial powers.”
However, former state police chief MS Malik said there was also another angle to the picture. “Several cases are lodged under the SC/ST Act just over objectionable remarks. In several pockets of Haryana, people are known for rough language even as they may not have any caste-based intention against the person concerned. Because of the awareness and available legal provisions, police complaints are lodged. Sometimes, such complaints are lodged for other reasons too, like old disputes or panchayat poll related rivalry. Such cases need to be handled intelligently to ensure justice apart from an awareness campaign against the new provisions of the law.”
Meanwhile, the cases of crime against women have witnessed a decline in 2020 with 13,000 FIRs being registered which was lower than 14,326 cases in 2018 and 14,683 in 2019.
DGP Agrawal said: “After the Nirbhaya case, there was a continuous rise in the reporting of incidents of crime against women. But now we have observed a kind of stability. That may be because we have focused a lot on checking such incidents”.
Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, however, blamed the faulty policies of the state government behind rise in criminal activities.
Citing the NCRB data, Surjewala said: “In cognizable crime rate under IPC and Special and Local Laws (SLL), Haryana stand fourth in the whole country, which should be a matter of shame for the government.”
He questioned Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala and Home Minister Anil Vij “for the big delay in filing chargesheets against the IPC and SLL offenders”.
“Why has Haryana come last among the bigger states (except the states of Manipur, Meghalaya) in filing the chargesheets? The national average rate in filing chargesheets was 82.5 per cent, but why was Haryana a laggard at only 39.7 per cent,” Surjewala asked.
The Congress leader alleged that “due to the laxity in filing chargesheets against the criminals and the casual attitude of the government, crime in Haryana has been increasing continuously” for the past seven years. “The people of the state are suffering but the government seems careless about their woes. In the year 2020, 1,165 murders, 163 gang rapes, 1,373 rape, and 2,949 kidnappings occured in Haryana despite the lockdown and epidemic.”
Surjewala further said: “As many as 1,165 murders in 2020 is a huge number for a small state like Haryana. With the murder rate of 3.9 per lakh population, Haryana is ranked second in country. Surprisingly, in its missive to NCRB, the Haryana Police has submitted that 105 of those were blind murders in one year only.”
With 10.1 kidnappings per lakh population, Haryana is ranked second in the country in kidnappings, he said, adding, “Haryana Police was able to file chargesheets for only 18.1 per cent of the 2,949 kidnappings that took place in 2020. It could not even recover 1,377 abductees for more than a year, which tells the sad story of the law and order situation in Haryana”.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.