New Delhi: The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Monday released its long-awaited report on 2017 crime statistics, showing a 3.7% rise in registration of cases over those booked the previous year, with the number of rape cases being the lowest since 2013 and offences against the state rising sharply.
Uttar Pradesh accounted for 10.1% of the total crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). However, the report, prepared for the period between January 1 and December 31 in 2017, said that states such as UP and Delhi could not be statistically compared to other regions as they had started online registrations of cases, leading to an additional spike.
In the 2016 report, the increase in the total number of cases was 2.6% over 2015.
Murder cases registered a decline of 5.9% in 2017. As many as 28,653 killings were recorded in 2017, down from 30,450 in 2016, the NCRB report said. Cases of kidnapping and abductions saw a 9% increase in 2017, with 95,893 cases registered against 88,008 in 2016.
The bureau said that the 2017 report included several new crime heads under the IPC, including abetment, criminal intimidation, simple hurt, credit/debit card fraud, missing children deemed as kidnapped, kidnapping and abduction for begging, etc.
Total number of rape cases was 32,599 in 2017, while total number of victims was 33,658, out of which 10,221 were girl/child victims. This is the lowest since 2013, when number of cases and victims was 33,707 and 33,764 (according to NCRB data given in CMIE).
The conviction rate for crimes against women (cases convicted as percentage of total cases where trial was completed) was 24.5% in India in the year 2017. For Delhi, it was 35%. Gujarat and West Bengal were the worst performers, with conviction rates of 3.1% and 3.2%.
The cases of crimes against women had reported an increase of 2.9% in 2016 over 2015.
In the latest report, the majority of cases were filed under the category ‘cruelty by husband or his relatives’ (33.2%) followed by ‘assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty’ (27.3%).
The number of offences against the state was 9,013 in 2017, compared to 6,040 in 2015 and 6,986 in 2016. The number of sedition cases in 2017 was 51. Sedition as a separate category was not given in the 2016 report. The number of cases under the Official Secrets Act has come down from 30 to 18 between 2016 and 2017.
The release of the report comes after repeated criticism by the Opposition, which accused the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of withholding its contents that it said gave valuable snapshot of the state of crime. In June, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government had started a tradition that “if the findings of the report are against it, it will not be tabled [in Parliament] at all”.
Government officials, however, countered the allegations by saying that some states had not provided complete data for the report and it could not be published without getting full information from all regions.
The 2017 Crime in India report has seen a much longer data collection period (it began in August 2018 and continued till July 2019). For the 2016 report, this period was January-February 2017 to September 2017.
The latest NCRB report said that greater detailing was ensured with respect to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Data is also being collected now under the Chit Fund Act, the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, the Food Safety and Standards Act and the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), it added.
Socio-economic causative factors or reasons of crimes have not been captured by the bureau; only police-recorded cases have been published.