Though 2016 NCRB data ranks Chennai the national first in number of offences under Special & Local Laws, cops point out that the likes of Motor Vehicles Act added weight here; for eg, child-related crimes in Mumbai were 283, Jaipur 113 while Chennai had a mere 11.
CHENNAI: Chennai has reported the highest number of cases of cognizable crimes under special and local laws (SLL), accounting for 32.9 per cent of the total such crimes reported in 19 metropolitan cities in 2016, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
The NCRB data released on Thursday by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reveals that Kochi (12.9%) in Kerala and Surat (12.6%) in Ahmedabad are the second and third, respectively.
Under SLL come Acts including those involving women, pertaining to dowry and immoral trafficking, laws on child marriage and juvenile justice, SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and laws on offences against State, arms/explosives and other regulatory Acts.
Among the 19 metropolitan cities in the country, Chennai has been topping the list under this particular category for three years now. The only solace is the numbers have declined from 1,55,671 cases in 2014 to 96,977 in 2016.
However, the data need not be taken at face value, opine police officials. “If you look at the data, a major chunk of cases that add to the alarming number are pertaining to SLL crimes covered by laws such as Motor Vehicles Act, POCSO Act, animal cruelty and food safety laws etc,” a senior police officer said.
In fact, Chennai has the most number of cases in the other SLL crimes category with 86,442 cases while Kochi has registered 31,390 cases. Apart from this, Chennai has a sizeable number of cases under the Prohibition Act (8695). The city ranks third followed only by Surat and Ahmedabad in the dry State of Gujarat.
In the more serious categories under the SLL, Chennai doesn’t account for much. Bengaluru, for instance, has recorded 879 incidents affecting 969 victims in women- related cases while Chennai has recorded only 214 cases in 2016. In the case of children- related SLL crimes too, the city has recorded a meagre 11 incidents in comparison with 283 in Mumbai and 113 in Jaipur.
A category where the city towers above the other cities included in the list is the number of incidents under the Copyright Act. Of the 19 cities, only one city has recorded over 150 incidents under the Copyright Act while Chennai alone accounts for 551 incidents in 2016, according to the data.
Under the more serious Information Technology Act, however, Chennai has accounted for 26 incidents while Bengaluru (762), Jaipur (419) and Hyderabad (291) have more cases.
According to the statics, a total of 8,08,637 cognizable crimes comprising 5,13,635 Indian Penal Code (IPC) crimes and 2,95,002 special and local laws (SLL) crimes were reported in 19 metropolitan cities during 2016, showing an increase of 6.5 percent over 2015.
It may be noted that Tamil Nadu, as per the NCRB data, is ranked third in the number of cognizable crimes recorded in 2016. A total of 4,67,369 cases were registered under the IPC and special and local laws. Kerala has topped in the category with 7,07,870 cases, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 4,94, 025 cases.
Number of cases under SLL. But, the city shows a comparatively lower count in serious crimes. Bengaluru has 879 cases related to women while Chennai has only 214 cases
Chennai ranks number two in juvenile theft cases
Rise in juvenile delinquency is a cause of concern, as Chennai stands second behind Delhi in the number of thefts by juveniles among the 19 metropolitan cities. While Delhi recorded 766 cases of thefts by juveniles, Chennai came second with 307 cases, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau. However, in the case of more serious crimes such as murder, assault on women and kidnap, the juvenile offenders’ column is a mere blank in the city while cities like Delhi and Mumbai have numbers that paint a sorry picture.
Even recently, the Red Hills police nabbed two juveniles who broke into a mobile phone showroom and stole six high-end phones worth Rs1.70 lakh. In the case of crimes against senior citizens too, the city manages a podium finish among the 19 metropolitan cities.
With 10 senior citizens murdered in 2016, the city is only behind Delhi (17) and Bengaluru (12). The city tops the list in the number of senior citizens who were victims to attempt to murder (IPC 307) with nine incidents reported in 2016, while in cases of senior citizens being victims of cheating, the city is second after Mumbai. While 108 incidents were reported in Chennai, 336 incidents were reported in Mumbai.
Tamil Nadu ranks 4 in number of railway property theft cases
Tamil Nadu has the dubious distinction of being ranked fourth in the country when it comes to theft and encroachment of assets of the Indian Railways.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report released on Thursday refers to the cases registered by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) all through 2016 under the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act. Railway goods sheds, coach terminals, major stations, tracks, loco sheds, electrical units and other buildings are unsafe and unprotected in the State, the report said.
Out of 81,310 cases registered by the RPF, there have been 81,187 convictions. In addition to this, 329 cases were registered under Indian Railway Act which imposes penalty for littering, urinating and footboard travelling in trains in 2016.
The number of cases booked by the RPF in 2016 rose by 7.6 per cent, compared to the previous year. A total of 81,639 cases were registered, compared to 79, 853 cases in the previous year.
Interestingly, the State is ranked behind Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Maharashtra has the dubious distinction of being op when it comes to stealing railway properties. A total of 2.23 lakh cases under Railway Protection (Unlawful Possession) Act were registered, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh with 1,23,969 and 98,506 cases respectively.
NCRB records reveal the lack of safety to railway properties despite a dedicated police force to protect it, while railway officials argue that the conviction rate is high and properties have been recovered in many cases. But then there are challenges including lack of security personnel at the railway establishments and absence of surveillance through CCTV cameras.
“Many important railway locations including major coach yards and maintenance centres places do not CCTV cameras. In addition, the Railways had been carrying out track doubling, electrification and new line laying works in several sections. These sections also became soft spots for theft incidents,” explained an official.
3,23,007 Maximum number of cases for investigation reported in TN. This was topped by Kerala at 4,61,233 and comes just above Gujarat, which had 3,19,680 cases during 2016.