CHANDIGARH: Crime rate in Haryana did slightly increase especially against women and other weaker sections of society, state's Home Minister Anil Vij said in the Assembly on Monday.
In his reply tabled in the Assembly to a question raised by opposition Congress, Vij, however, said the crime against children decreased by 3.8 per cent during 2019.
Congress member Geeta Bhukkal had asked "whether it is a fact that crime rate is increasing in the state, especially against women, children and other weaker sections of society; and if so, the steps taken by the government to control/prevent crime?" In his reply, Vij said the crime rate did slightly increase in the state, especially against women and other weaker sections of society.
Congress MLAs Jagbir Singh Malik, Chiranjeevi Rao, Aftab Ahmed and JJP's Ishwar Singh, who too had similar questions, were allowed supplementaries.
As against 9,989 cases of crime against women in 2017, 12,691 were reported in 2018, and 13,104 in 2019, while crime against other weaker sections went up from 804 in 2017 to 1,016 in 2018 and 1,097 in 2019, Vij informed the House in his reply.
However, crime against children, which were 3,188 in 2017, 4,022 in 2018 were 3,870 in 2019. Listing out various steps to control and prevent these instances, Vij said that by March 31, universal helpline number 'Dial 112' will be made functional in the state.
"We are also purchasing 630 new vehicles for the police," he said, adding the government wants police help to reach within 15 minutes.
Responding to Aftab Ahmed's concern over low conviction rate in several crimes, Vij assured the House that if culprits get off because of slackness on the part of officials during investigations then they will be held responsible.
As Congress legislators upped the attack on treasury benches over alleged deteriorating law and order situation, Vij retorted, "During our rule, there was no Mirchpur (incident in 2010 in Hisar in which an aged Dalit man and his physically challenged teenage daughter were burnt alive), Gohana incident (in 2007 involving murder of a Dalit leader), nobody had to self-immolate before the DGP's office."
Among the steps the government has taken to control and prevent crime against women include: setting up 33 Women Police Stations, establishing women helpline number, and establishing women help desks at sub-divisional level in all the districts headquarters, the minister said.
To curb incidents of crime against women and to strengthen the security of women in the state, Police Control Room Vehicles exclusively manned by women police officials have been deputed in districts, he said.
Also, more than 2.61 lakh CCTV cameras have been installed in the state by various municipal corporations and private agencies, Vij said, in his reply tabled in the House.
An officer in the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police has been appointed in every district as Nodal Officer for monitoring cases of crime against women, he said, adding women police constables are being deployed in special buses meant for girl students in all the districts to provide safe journey.
Before the question was taken up, senior Congress leader Kiran Choudhary sought clarity on the process being followed for selection of questions. "I have given 50 questions, but only one was selected," she said.
Speaker Gian Chand Gupta told her and other members that questions were selected by draw of lots in the presence of opposition leaders.
"If any member has any doubt, he/she can come to my chamber and I will show the video recording of draw of lots," he said.