One-fifth of all murders in Delhi in 2018 were a result of “sudden provocation over trivial issues”, suggesting how spur-of-the-moment incidents account for most killings. Of the 477 murder cases registered last year, 21% were because of “sudden provocation” and 38% due to personal enmity, Delhi Police data suggested.
Police also said that 11% of the murders were “crime-related”, suggesting motives such as robbery, and 11% were crimes of passion. In 19% of cases, either the body was unidentified or the motive could not be ascertained.
From burgeoning population to a fight for space and resources — flashpoints for murders are many. “At the surface level, most murders that took place were due to petty reasons. But in the last two decades, because of expansion of population, there has been a rise in the number of murders due to petty reasons. The most we can do is educate people,” said Special CP (Crime) Satish Golcha.
Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik, during the annual conference, suggested that disputes in the “rural belt”, arising out of property disputes, and petty fights in underprivileged clusters were among the reasons for murders and a “short-fuse reaction”.
About 59% of the murders were committed using a sharp-edged weapon (43%) or blunt object (16%), while 19% were committed using firearms.
Golcha said the use of blunt objects like sticks, bricks and stones may be the result of “an enraged person finding the first thing he can get his hands on”. Data also revealed that 14% of the murders were committed by strangulation, 2% by burning the victim with kerosene or petrol, and 1% using poison.