A High Crime Rate
According to the latest data released by the tiol Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Assam reported over three per cent of the tion’s cognizable crimes registered. This would not be a very sensatiol bit of news since the population of Assam too is roughly about three per cent of India’s population. What is alarming is that there should be so much crime today in a State that was known to be more or less totally free of crime. The NCRB data reveals that there were 94,337 incidents of cognizable crime in Assam in 2014 under the Indian Pel Code (IPC), contributing to 3.3 per cent of the all-India total of 28,51,563 such incidents. Assam reported 1,451 incidents of murder, 1,142 incidents of attempt to murder, 57 of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, 14 of attempt to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder, 1,589 of rape, 227 instances of attempt to commit rape and 4,823 incidents of kidpping and abductions during 2014. In addition, there were 267 incidents of dacoity, 20 of making preparations and assembly for dacoity, 1,038 of robbery, 4,954 of crimil trespass/burglary and 12,737 incidents of theft. There were many more lesser crimes like forgery, counterfeiting, arson and causing grievous hurt and assault of women with intent to outrage their modesty and so on. The point that needs to be made is that a State relatively free of crime has become as bad as any other State of the country in the propensity for crime. Such a situation is inevitable when people’s means of earning an honest livelihood are taken away by one of two factors or both: the lack of employment opportunities and the lack of education to qualify for the limited opportunities that do exist. Since Assam is almost undeveloped in terms of industry, it is hardly surprising that the State should have the highest unemployment rate in the country. When anything between 16 and 20 per cent of the youth in the State are unemployed, there is a major problem of livelihoods. And since survival is the most primary human instinct, people are unlikely to submit calmly to death from hunger. They are most likely to take to crime in order to survive. Any government that fails to appreciate this, any government that fails to create adequate employment opportunities through development has not only failed its people, but is responsible for having literally pushed a section of its youth to crime.