India’s crime graph on the rise

Pankaj Sharma/ Zee Research Group

The India growth story has an ugly twist in its tale. Last 12 years which coincided with India’s rise as an economic power have also witnessed an alarming rise in the country’s crime profile raising serious questions over the efficacy of the overall policy framework.

While country’s GDP grew from 5.7 per cent in 1998 - 99 to 8.5 per cent in 2010-11, the crime rate of the country outpaced the economic growth to notch a 25 per cent growth during the last decade and more.

The National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data analyzed by Zee Research Group (ZRG) for the period 1998 - 2010 showed that the crime density growth in India transcended all forms of the curse including rape, dowry deaths and molestation. Worse, the growth story coincided with the evolution in a big way of the economic crimes in the country led by counterfeiting, which emerged as a major crime driver during the period under review.

Whilst the crime incidents of counterfeiting increased by 91 per cent during the period, cases of rape, molestation, dowry deaths and theft too kept pace. Rape cases grew by 47.51 per cent and molestation by 30.82 per cent while dowry deaths and theft cases rose by 21.31 per cent and 14.77 per cent respectively. Put together the cognizable crime rate grew by 25 per cent during the year 1998 and 2010.

The good news is that there has been a fall both in murder and robbery incidents in the country. Figures reveal that crime under murder and robbery category reduced by 14 per cent and 1 per cent respectively during 1998 and 2010.

While law and order is a state subject, the national crime rate is generally billed to be a reflection of the overall efficiency of the government at the centre. A ZRG assessment of the crime scenario management by two key ruling alliances - National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) - that governed India during the 12 year period showed that the overall crime rate was relatively under control during NDA term led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

An analysis of the crime profile under UPA regime led by Dr Manmohan Singh showed that barring a couple of verticals, crime during the last six years only grew. While NDA government, which ruled between 1998 and 2003, reported 1, 05, 80,582 total cognizable crime incidents under IPC, UPA governments five years term between 2005 and 2010 reported 1, 21, 30, 123 cases, which measures 15 per cent more than the total number of crime incidents during Vajpayee’s regime.

The number of rape and theft cases, which were 95, 290 and 15, 63, 789 respectively during NDA regime (1998-2003) increased to 1, 23, 480 and 18, 03, 776 respectively in UPA five years (2005 -2010).

The cases of counterfeiting, dowry deaths and molestation which were 10,259, 40, 492 and 1, 97, 303 during NDA regime grew during UPA regime to 15, 271, 47, 444 and 2, 29, 263 cases respectively.

But the cases of murder and robbery, which were 2, 17, 430 and 1, 22, 000 in NDA regime, got reduced to 1, 95, 988 and 1, 21, 589 respectively under UPA rule.

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