The crime scerio in India’s capital should make all our legislators sit up and take serious notice. And undoubtedly the worst part of it all is that crimes against women have shot up just within a year. For instance, there were 460 more rape cases in 2014 than in 2013. And, overall, complaints of crime against women increased by 18.4 per cent, from 12,888 in 2013 to 15,265 in 2014. The Delhi police claims that cases were registered on almost all the complaints last year. Rape cases were registered on 2,096 of the 2102 complaints and 1667 cases were solved. According to police sources, young girls and women aged below 30 years were targets in about 87 per cent of rape cases. Nearly half of the survivors were aged below 18, while 71 were aged below six! The number of minors raped in the city increased alarmingly from 257 in 2013 to 1008 in 2,014. What makes the statistics more poignt is the fact that the accused were known to the survivors in 1,083 cases. Along with rape cases, molestation cases also shot up by 24.9 per cent from 3,345 in 2013 to 4,179 in 2014. In addition, there were also 4,237 cases of women and minor girls getting abducted. Perhaps the only silver lining in the cloud is that the police claims to have arrested 90 per cent of the accused in rape cases within 48 hours. Of late, policemen in civilian dress, have started travelling on buses to catch youths passing lewd remarks and misbehaving with women under Operation Shistachar. Recently, such a drive was launched in Metro trains as well.
But apart from crimes against women, there has been a five-fold increase in the number of robberies, from 1,245 in 2013 to 6,464 in 2014. Murders have gone up from 517 in 2013 to 586 in 2014. Likewise, attempts to murder have gone up from 585 in 2013 to 770 in 2014, but culpable homicide declined margilly from 65 to 58 during the same period. Likewise, kidpping cases too declined margilly from 56 in 2013 to 54 in 2014. But robbery cases almost doubled from 147 in 2013 to 287 in 2014. Between 2012 and 2014 there was a threefold increase in on-line fraud, with cyber crime under the IT Act going up from 150 in 2013 to 226 in 2014. However, there has been only a small increase in the number of arrests for such crimes that went up from 34 in 2013 to 56 in 2014. Delhi has also led the Union Territories in the number of corruption cases. Perhaps the only bit of good news amid the depressing tally of crime is that there has been a 51 per cent drop in the number of senior citizens killed.
One may very well question why there is this undue concern about what is happening in Delhi alone. The tiol capital has been chosen to highlight the fact that what is happening in Delhi is happening elsewhere too, and that crime must have increased even more startlingly in the smaller towns and rural areas of the country. After all, there is a high concentration of security forces in the tiol capital and yet the crime rate has maged to keep increasing alarmingly. We have just made Delhi the mirror of the tion’s crime scerio. We have thereby sought to underscore the fact that the crime rate all over the country must be much worse than what it is in Delhi and that we have done precious little to combat the high level of crime throughout the country. However, since there is a very high correlation between corruption and crime, the situation is unlikely to get any better in the rest of the country unless corruption can be drastically controlled in the tiol capital, so much better equipped to do so. The Delhi Police insists that it is the number of cases registered that have gone up and not crime per se. This is asking the tion to overdo the willing suspension of disbelief exercise that we need when watching a dramatic performance. The crime figures did not emate from thin air, but were culled from the data provided by the police. As such, the Delhi police would do much better to mount a passiote crusade against both crime and corruption for the rest of the country to emulate in making India a cleaner place to live in. After all, the broom will clean up only the physical filth that we see around us. The mental filth, responsible for most of our crimes, is far more difficult to eradicate unless the punishment of crime is both ruthless and swift.