The rising crime graph in Rajasthan has become a cause of concern for the State police, while recent daylight shooting incidents in Jaipur, in which several persons were killed, have created panic among the public.
Six unidentified persons shot a history-sheeter in broad daylight in Jaipur’s Bani Park area on Tuesday. A Gurugram-based project consultant was earlier shot dead outside the National Highways Authority of India’s office in the city’s posh Vaishali Nagar on August 26.
The National Crime Records Bureau’s data for 2020 has put a spotlight on crimes against women in the State, while several cases of alleged involvement of policemen in bribery and liquor and opium smuggling have highlighted the need for discipline and tough action in the police force. The police also faced embarrassment recently when a video of an officer indulging in indecent acts went viral.
Rajasthan has registered the highest number of rape cases in the country, as per NCRB data. Though the State stood fifth in crimes against women, as many as 5,310 rape cases were registered in 2020. The pendency rate with the police, at 13.2%, was counted among the lowest.
More FIRs being lodged
The increase in crime figures is mainly attributed to the State government's instructions that every complaint made to the police must be registered as a First Information Report. Following Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s remarks that there was no need to worry if more FIRs led to rise in figures, the office of Director-General of Police sent several circulars to the districts with the orders for registration of cases under all circumstances.
Additional DGP (Crime) Ravi Prakash Meharda said the NCRB report had stated that the rise in crime and increase in registration of crime by the police were clearly two different things, which were often confused. In rape cases, the victims and the accused often arrived at a compromise, while a large number of cases are found to be false after investigation, he said.
The statistics released by the State police also depicted a 28% increase in atrocities against Dalit women, 20% in burglary and 28% in cases of theft between January and July this year. Besides, the police personnel have been accused of taking hefty bribe to allow transport of bajri (riverbed sand) in violation of the Supreme Court’s orders banning its use in construction of buildings.
The State government has established special investigation units for crimes against women, atrocities against Dalits and tribals, crimes against children and human trafficking in all districts. These units are working under the supervision of Superintendents of Police. The focus has also been laid on completion of probe in a timely manner and filing of charge-sheets in the courts without delay.
The shocking viral video of Heera Lal Saini, a serving Deputy SP, with a woman constable and her child in a swimming pool at a luxury resort in Ajmer district has led to prompt action by the higher authorities. After the arrest of both the officer and the constable, the process for Mr. Saini's dismissal has been initiated.
In a similar incident of a constable in Ajmer sending allegedly lewd messages to some students, a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act has been registered against him along with his suspension.
The Opposition BJP has held the ruling Congress leaders responsible for the rising crime graph, saying they were busy consolidating their power. BJP State president Satish Poonia said Mr. Gehlot, despite holding the home portfolio, was ignoring the instances of serious crimes, because of which cases of loot, murder, theft and rape were being reported from almost all districts.