Rajasthan being labelled as crime capital needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Wrong indicators.

Rajasthan being labelled as crime capital needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Wrong indicators.

Of the 8 Heinous Crime Investigating Units (HIUs) that have been set up, seven work under a DSP in each police range while the eighth at Jaipur headquarters monitors progress in the investigations and trials. A DSP heads the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in each district - for crimes against women and this has resulted in a dramatic reduction in investigation time, with most cases disposed off within 30-90 days.
Rajasthan being labelled as crime capital needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Wrong indicators.

The number of registered cases have increased and not crime - ML Lather, Director General - Crime, Rajasthan

Senior Cops tell the CM that most cases are false and need not be registered. CM however has a different approach - register the complaint, have it investigated objectively and submit for closure if found false.

The opposition in Rajasthan has taken the ruling party in the state to task, blaming it for the rising crime rate, rape being one of them.

However, the Chief Ministers of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot says that every complain being received the police stations across Rajasthan end up compulsorily in FIRs, after which action is taken. Multiple incidents of crime, including theft and rape in Rajasthan have also led to the political vindication of the ruling party in the state.

On 6 October 2020, Judge Brajesh Kumar Sharma gave his verdict on the Alwar Thanagazi block gang rape case after 17 months. The sentence of life imprisonment was served to four convicted rapists by the special SC/ST court. This case showed the poor response of the police department, who registered the FIR only after a video of the rape went viral on social media. This prompted the CM to take immediate action and launch a series of initiatives.

The office of the CM has informed (through reliable sources), that the CM is writing to Amit Shah, Union Home Minister, to make it mandatory for every complaint recieved across India to be registered as FIR. Rajasthan follows this policy, and this probably is one reason that the records show it be among the most crime prone states in India. This approach of the CM, is to ensure that transparency in state administration, which ensures maximum complaints does not make the state end up being labelled as the ones with higher crime rates than others. All of this comes after the BJP targetted the ruling party over the reports of the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data for 2019, that suggests Rajasthan being among the states with the highest crime rate.

It was way back in June 2019, when the state government handed over instructions to police stations to record every complaint recieved, the form of FIRs. Police was assured that no cop will be held guilty on grounds of higher number of FIRs. This made the IPC cases jump up by 31% between 2018 and 2019. The crime rate rocketed from 224 to 290 per lakh population and Rajasthan, which was ranked 9th till 2018, jumped up to the 5th position as the worst crime infested state.Rape FIRs, which were suppressed, unlike murder and theft shot up from 4,335 in 2018 to 5,997 in 2019 (media reports). This is a rise of 38% in rape cases, against national average rise of 7.8%.

The government has made FIRs on each complaint mandatory and one can be lodged against the SHO as well, if the police fails to act. The SP office can also register an FIR if the complainant feels that the local thana is not responding. After this initiative of the Gehlot government, the SP office has registered nearly 200 FIRs since June 2019 and it was found that 18 SHOs had refused to lodge FIRs; action has already been initiated against 16 of them. This initiative has also resulted in the cases filed through courts coming down from 19% in 2018 to 13% in 2020.

In an interview with a national portal, Ashok Gehlot said that Rajasthan has been infamous for avoiding lodging FIRs to keep the recorded crime numbers down. The way the people are treated while complaining to the police leads them to avoid going to the police station. The way the police deal with the people is pathetic. Gehlot said that positive change is happening and the state plans to set up help desks in nearly 1/3rd police stations within a year, to make the office more people friendly.

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