Crime in western Uttar Pradesh fell by 70 per cent in April this year compared to the same period last year, according to UP Police’s Meerut Zone.
The region recorded 35 murders in the last month against 50 in the corresponding period in 2019, while robberies went down from 992 to 114. There were 16 kidnappings and seven cases of rape in April, 2020 against 110 and 34 last year.
Police have attributed the fall to policing and lockdown restrictions.
“Increased and systematic policing during the lockdown along with limited movement of people helped in reduction of crime,” said Additional Director General of Police (Meerut Zone) Prashant Kumar while attending a meeting of top cops across the country. The meeting — organised by Bureau of Police & Research Development (BPR&D), a think tank of the Union Home Ministry — was attended by Karnataka DGP Praveen Sood, Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta and Bhubhaneswar CP Sudhanshu Sarangi to discuss policing in the time of the lockdown.
The Meerut ADG stressed that the mass influx of UP migrants in the last two months had been “peaceful” without any incidents of violence.
The administrative zone of Meerut includes Baghpat, Meerut, Saharanpur, Bulandshahr, Hapur, Muzaffarnagar and Ghaziabad. These districts have recorded 1,163 coronavirus positive cases — around 20 per cent of the total cases in the state.
“There is no denying that our police force is overworked since there has been constant deployment right from the abrogation of Article 370 to the Ram Janmabhoomi verdict to anti-CAA protests. In this case, it was important to develop a comprehensive SOP (standard operating procedure) for the lockdown strategy with effective Covid prevention measures. For morale boosting, senior officers engaged in conversation with other officers irrespective of their ranks to ensure that duties are carried out properly,” said Kumar.
According to officials, santisation tunnels, washing machines and fridges were provided in police lines under Meerut Zone to encourage cleaning of clothes within the premises. They claimed that police had followed social distancing norms and worn gloves and masks, leading to only two positive cases among them.
In the meeting, Kumar said that 1,581 Jamaat members who had participated in the Nizamuddin Markaz congregation had been identified in western UP, and 180 of them were foreigners.
The ADG claimed that the “smooth” passage of laborers from western UP borders to other parts of the state and Bihar was ensured in two phases in March and May. He said that seven virtual meetings had been held between Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Meerut Zone police officials over lockdown policing.
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