Crime graph 2016
Once known to be a hotbed of militancy, Assam today has less to fear from insurgents and more from criminals of all hues, shapes and sizes. With all major rebel outfits having joined peace parleys in the past decade, the state has managed to bring down militancy to a remarkable low. The achievement though has been balanced out with a rise in crime and criminal activities, especially within the city. In 2012, Guwahati, which dealt with 3752 cases that included theft, burglary, murder, rape, molestation, extortion and suicide, saw an increase to 4025 cases on its plate by November 2016.
In 2015, the number of crimes registered was 4209; the commissionerate was introduced in January the same year. The figures were higher in 2014 when the number of cases stood at 4656. However, as per the data of the crime branch there has been a significant decrease in incidences of murder, rape, molestation, extortion and suicide. While till the month of November 2016 the city altogether witnessed 419 cases of the aforementioned crimes, prior to the introduction of commissionerate 566 such cases were reported in 2014.
Theft & Burglary
Incidents of burglary and theft remained stagnant according to the data of past five years. While such incidents may raise concern among civilians it also calls for the requirement of the police to tighten its grip over those involved in such criminal activities. There were several incidents reported in the year 2016 most of which took place in areas such as Beltola in Dispur and the Fatashil Ambari /Colony Bazar area.
The Sheena Bora murder case had created sensation in the entire country as the news made the prime time and headlines of various media houses for several days. With the roots of the incident spreading to Guwahati and Shillong, it kept many on the edge while wondering what mystery might unfold next. Another incident that rocked Guwahati was the Hatigaon homicide where the head of the family killed his wife and two daughters. However, the number of such incidents in 2016 has dropped to 68 from 86 in 2014.
Incidents of the body of a 22-year-old woman being found in the wooded thickets ofNoonmati as also a 12-year-old girl being allegedly gang-raped by five friends on the outskirts of Guwahati, the city witnessed it all in 2016. As inhuman as these acts can be, such incidents still occur.However, there are many who hesitate to report such crimes for the fear of sullying the fair name of the family.
The mass-molestation incident on the New Year night at Bengaluru is being condemned by the entire nation. The release of CCTV footage not only just depicted the inhumanity of the ‘human race’ but also showed those who remained mere spectators to the crime in a very poor light. Moreover, how could one forget the GS Road molestation case that had rocked the entire nation? Although the figures have significantly dropped since 2013 the existence of crimes such as rape and molestation is a slap on the face of humanity.
An easy way of making money at the cost of others’ peace and hard work, there were several cases that surfaced in the past. The crime branch of the police department has tightened the grip on those indulging in such activities. The Adrishi incident and the apprehension of Abdul Majid stand as an example of the successful efforts made by the police.
Taking of one’s own life is the most private of acts, but incidence of suicide varies widely across societies. The psychological dislocation that causes one to kill oneself has deep psychological roots. The causes vary from the dissolution of social bonds, the faster pace of life and the growth of overweening ambition. The city witnessed several such incidents most of which took place in hotels. However, it is one’s mental wellbeing or lack of it that drives one towards taking such drastic measures.
Moreover, to understand crime statistics, one must distinguish between three different concepts – incidence of crime, reporting of crime and recording of crime. It is well known that there is massive difference between reporting and recording of crimes. Not all victims report crimes to the police. Sometimes, it is because the crime is trivial (say theft of a wallet). Sometimes, the victim fears reprisal. A large number of offences (for instance rape, stalking, harassment or molestation) against women are not reported because the victim feels that reporting such an offence may stigmatise her or bring unwarranted public attention to her. Many hesitate to report crimes fearing a loss of reputation or due to lack of confidence in the capacity of law enforcement agencies.
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