For the third consecutive year, most crimes against senior citizens were committed in Maharashtra. The Crime In India 2019 report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that Maharashtra accounted for 22.3 per cent of the offences committed against the elderly in India’s 29 states and seven Union Territories last year.
A total of 26,562 offences were committed against people aged above 60 in 2019. More than half of these crimes took place in the three states of Maharashtra (6,163), Madhya Pradesh (4,184) and Gujarat (4,088) and the Union Territory of Delhi (1,076). The steady rise in registration of offences in Maharashtra has mirrored the national trend. In Maharashtra, 5,321 cases were reported in 2017 and 5,961 in 2018. In that period, the national figure increased from 21,866 to 23,501.
Estimating India’s senior citizen population as the 2011 Census figure of 10.24 crore, the report noted that the rate of crime in the 29 states was 25.9 for every one lakh senior citizens and 81.5 in the UTs. The report pegged the national rate of crime against senior citizens at 26.7.
Theft (2,051) was found to be the most common crime committed against the elderly in Maharashtra as well as nationally (4,394).
In addition, 839 senior citizens were cheated in 836 instances in Maharashtra. The third highest incidents of criminal trespass into homes of the elderly also took place in Maharashtra (122) in 2019. Only Telangana (321) and Andhra Pradesh (139) recorded more such offences.
Maharashtra also recorded most instances of assaults on elderly women with the intention of outraging their modesty (43). Of the 1,184 senior citizens murdered in India in 2019, as many as 162 of them were killed in Maharashtra.
While 12 states and four UTs had zero convictions in crimes against senior citizens last year, courts in Maharashtra convicted 171 people — the fifth highest figure in India. In contrast, Maharashtra’s figure for acquittal (1,066) was the second highest in the country, trailing only behind courts in Madhya Pradesh (1,515).
Among India’s 12 metropolitan cities (those with a population of over 20 lakh), Mumbai (1,231) accounted for most crimes committed against senior citizens in 2019. This is a quarter of all offences registered in the country. The corresponding figure in India’s financial capital was 1,115 in 2017 and 1,043 in 2018. As many as 491 senior citizens fell victim to forgery or fraud in Mumbai last year, 407 to cheating and another 287 to theft, the report stated.
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