GUWAHATI, Aug 1 – Official records now indicate that Assam is emerging as a State in which crime rates are shooting up. Violent crimes are on the rise along with a sharp climb in crime against women, trends which were not so evident till a few years back.
India’s rate of violent crimes has seen an increase of 3.9 per cent during 2011 compared to the previous year. In Assam the trend is no less worrying, if data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) are any indication.
According to the NCRB figures, the highest rate of violent crimes was reported from Kerala (44.0), followed by Delhi (37.0). Assam comes next with 36.6. Another NE State Manipur of with 32.4 also earns the dubious distinction.
In the year 2011, Assam recorded 11,420 incidents of violent crimes, which includes cases of murder, attempts to commit murder, kidnapping and abduction, dacoity, among others.
While the State Government might not find it palatable, killings carried out by terrorist and extremist outfits continue to be a matter of concern. The NCRB states, “Chattisgarh has accounted for 27.7 per cent murder by terrorist / extremist violence followed by Assam 17.4 per cent.” In this instance, the number of deaths could be higher, as the death of many victims cannot be linked with certainty to any militant outfit.
Well-placed sources in the police mention that access to firearms by militants is a major reason behind continuing extortions, abductions, and killings. Even though a number of extremist outfits have surrendered, it is believed that a sizeable quantity of arms is still at their disposal, particularly in the hill districts and in western Assam.
Assam also finds itself with the unsavoury position of being a state with high incidence of crime committed against women. In 2011 the incidence of such crimes soared to 11,503. The rate of cognizable crimes was 36.9, and its ‘rank as per total cognizable crimes’ was second in the entire country. Its ‘rank as percentage share’ was seven