India

Rajasthan sees surge in crime figures after easing of curbs

Rajasthan sees surge in crime figures after easing of curbs
Criminal cases filed under all heads, including atrocities against women and SCs/STs, saw an increase, returning close to the figures of March before the lockdown.

The number of cases registered in Rajasthan for various offences under the IPC has seen an increase of more than 80 per cent after the easing of restrictions as compared to those filed during the initial month of the lockdown, reveals data from the Rajasthan police.

The number of criminal cases under IPC sections had decreased by 47.6 per cent in April during the peak of the nationwide lockdown as compared to those recorded in March or February. Several lockdown restrictions were eased after April 20.

According to the monthly crime report of the Rajasthan police, criminal cases filed under all heads, including atrocities against women and SCs/STs, saw an increase, returning close to the figures of March before the lockdown.

In March, a total of 2,574 cases pertaining to atrocities against women were registered, going down to 879 cases during April and jumping to 1,960 cases in May — an increase of 122.98%, according to the data.

After the lockdown conditions were eased, the number of rape cases increased by 98.96 per cent while cases under Section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) saw an increase of 146.58 per cent in May as compared to April, according to the monthly data.

Similarly, cases of atrocities against SCs increased by 92.24 per cent while crimes against the STs rose by 101.16 per cent in May as compared to the figures of April, according to data.

“During the lockdown, all activities came to a halt. Even if something happened, people were still not coming out. After the lockdown was eased, reports of old incidents during that period have also been registered. When everybody is locked in their homes, it is expected that the criminal cases registered will also go down. Now it has come to almost the normal level, close to what the figures were during pre-corona and pre-lockdown times,” B L Soni, DGP (Crime Branch), told The Indian Express.

Ever since the Congress came to power in Rajasthan in December 2018, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who also holds the Home portfolio, has repeatedly emphasised that every complaint by an aggrieved person be registered as FIR so that nobody is turned down by the police. Police have been asked to mandatorily register FIRs upon receiving a complaint.

The police have maintained that the increase in the number of cases in the past one year is because of being encouraged to register FIRs. The annual crime report released in January showed a 31.08% rise in IPC cases in the state in 2019 as compared to 2018.