NCRB leaves out data on lynchings, khap and religious killings

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released its latest data on crime incidents across the country on Monday, more than a year behind schedule. Officials said data collected under the new sub-heads of death due to mob lynching, murder by influential people, killing ordered by khap panchayat and murder committed for religious reason have not been published, resulting in a partial delay of the agency’s report for 2017.

The new report has largely followed the pattern of the 2016 edition, barring additions in the category of cyber crimes and offenses against the state.

Sources said the agency had begun a massive data revamp exercise under former NCRB Director Ish Kumar. It was under him that the bureau revised the proforma under the category of murder and added new sub-heads of mob lynching and murder for religious reasons among others. “It is surprising that this data has not been published. This data was ready and fully compiled and analyzed. Only the top brass would know the reason why it has not been published,” an official privy to the data collection process said.

The decision to collect data on lynchings had been taken in the wake of a spate of lynching incidents across the country through 2015-16. The idea, officials said, was that such data collection would help the government formulate its policies better in tackling these crimes. Lynchings happen for a variety of reasons which include suspicion of theft, child lifting, cattle smuggling or communal reasons, officials said.

According to the latest NCRB report, there has been a 30 per cent rise in incidents of offences against the state as compared to 2016. This category includes offences such as sedition, waging war against the country and damage to public property among others. The data shows that against 6,986 offences in 2016, there were 9,013 such offences in 2017.

The maximum number of such offences were reported from Haryana (2,576) followed by UP (2,055). However, in both these states, the high number of offences was largely due to acts of damage to public property.

The maximum number of sedition cases were reported from Assam (19) followed by Haryana (13). Jammu and Kashmir recorded just one case of sedition while Chhattisgarh and all North-East states, barring Assam, recorded zero incident.

A new category of offences committed by various categories of “Anti-National Elements” showed that the maximum offences were committed by Left Wing Extremist (LWE) operatives (652), followed by North-East insurgents (421) and Terrorists (Jihadi and other elements) (371).

The maximum number of killings were carried out by LWE insurgents (82). As many as 72 of these killings took place in Chhattisgarh. This was followed by killings by terrorists (36) — 34 in Jammu and Kashmir alone. North-East insurgents killed 10 people.

According to the data, a total of 50,07,044 cognizable crimes — 30,62,579 Indian Penal Code (IPC) crimes and 19,44,465 Special & Local Laws (SLL) crimes — were registered in 2017, an increase of 3.6 per cent in registration of cases over 2016 (48,31,515 cases).

A total of 28,653 cases of murder were registered during 2017, showing a decline of 5.9 per cent over 2016 (30,450 cases). ‘Disputes’ (7,898 cases) was the motive in the highest number of murder cases during 2017 followed by ‘Personal vendetta or enmity’ (4,660 cases) and ‘Gain’ (2,103 cases).

Majority cases under crimes against women out of the total IPC crimes against women were registered under ‘Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives’ (33.2 per cent) followed by ‘Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty’ (27.3 per cent), ‘Kidnapping & Abduction of Women’ (21.0 per cent) and ‘Rape’ (10.3 per cent). In percentage terms, major crime heads under ‘Crime Against Children’ during 2017 were kidnapping and abduction (42.0 per cent) and cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (25.3 per cent) including child rape.