Incidents of sexual assault, murder, theft, crime against children, etc. have become common nowadays, which is pretty much evident from the increased number of happenings of this sort in society. The data from the National Crime Records Bureau regarding the number of crimes that took place in India in the year 2015 also has raised many eyebrows. The most shocking revelation in the report is that Kerala has its name anywhere in the first five places of various crimes that happened in the country.
Kerala is at second position with a crime rate of 723.2 cases for every 1,00,000 persons under IPC crimes. Crime rate data coming under the ambit of the IPC have put Delhi on top of the list with a rate of 916.8 cases. The matter of concern, however, according to police officials is that when the size and population of Kerala and the Union Territory is compared, the difference in rates is minimal and thus becomes an alarming rate for the State.
Malappuram and Kottayam districts in Kerala have reported IPC crimes at the rate of 24,447 and 23,000 respectively.
Also, when compared among the major cities in the country, Kollam, a relatively smaller district in Kerala, has defeated metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata with the highest IPC crime rate of 1,194.3. The capital of the State is not far behind and has also found the fourth place in the list with a rate of 913.8. In the second and third positions are
Delhi City and Jodhpur with a rate of 1066.2 and 1038.8 respectively.
Commenting on the same, a police official at Kollam East unit said, “It is true that the crime rate has increased in Kollam. However, one of the reasons behind the statistical data can also be because most of the crimes in the city are reported. We cannot rule out the possibility that the number of cases that are registered in major cities like Delhi and Mumbai can be less when compared to that in our State.”
He added that the Police Department is doing its best to uphold law and order and that it has been successful in doing so to a great extent.
Another major city of Kerala, Kochi has reported 654 cases under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, which according to the official is a matter of grave concern. He is of the opinion that the changing lifestyle of people in Kochi, as it has now become a hub where people from throughout the country stay and work, has affected their attitudes in a major way.
“Students are now finding it ‘cool’ to consume drugs. The racket, which is promoting drugs, has reached every strata of society and therefore it is a major and complex task to eradicate the same,” he added.
Apart from this, the report also states that the rate of crimes under Special and Local Laws (SLL) is also rising in Kerala. The State has reported a rate of 1,115.0 SLL crimes, which has given it the second position after Uttar Pradesh with a rate of 1,181.2.
The rate of Crimes Against Body also was highest in Kerala. Crimes Against Body comprise murder, attempt to commit murder, culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and attempt to commit culpable homicide, kidnapping, abduction, grievous hurt, causing death by negligence, causing injuries due to rash driving/road rage, dowry deaths and human trafficking. A total of 8, 57,995 cases were registered under this Act during 2015. The rate of 392.6 accounts to 54.3 per cent of total IPC crimes, which was the highest in Kerala as compared to the national average of 29.1 per cent of the total IPC crimes.
The data also indicates that political and student riots in Kerala have increased in 2015. Riots, arson, unlawful assembly and offences promoting enmity between different groups are the major constituents of crimes against public order. The rate of such crime was reported highest in Kerala at 19.6, followed by Assam (15.7) and Bihar (13.4).
Of late, cases of violence against women has also increased rapidly in Kerala. A total of 461 cases were registered under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act during 2015, of which 132 cases were registered from Kerala.
Explaining more about this Adv. Shiji Sivaji says, “Kerala society is becoming insensitive towards women with each passing day. There are plenty of cases that remain unreported. Government intervention is the only solution to this problem. Stringent laws must be implemented so that such incidents can be curbed.”
A total of 1,457 cases were registered under Juvenile Justice Act, of which 201 cases were from Kerala, which is the third highest after Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The total number of IPC crimes reported in Kerala accounts for 8.7 per cent of the total IPC crimes reported in the country. This is the third highest after Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh with 9.3 and 9.1 per cent respectively. Though the numbers are not big, the impact of increasing crime rate is definitely adverse in nature to society.
Main photograph by Steven Depolo via Flickr.