Fake news, riots push India's crime rate up by 28 per cent amidst pandemic
More disputes as compared to the previous year were reported last year over conflicts concerning religion, sect, caste, agriculture, money, water and land despite the ongoing pandemic
NEW DELHI: Covid-19 norm violations pushed up India’s overall crime rate by 28% last year, even though most major crimes saw a decline, according to the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). What kept the police on their toes in the pandemic year was fake news, offences related to adulteration, riots and offences under environmental laws.
Cases regarding circulation of false/fake news and rumour mongering doubled compared to 2019. Such cases have been on the rise for a while. In 2018, 280 such cases were registered, the numbers rose to 486 in 2019 and last year, as many as 1,527 cases were registered.
The last year also recorded a surge in the cases of rioting. More disputes as compared to the previous year were reported last year over conflicts concerning religion, sect, caste, agriculture, money, water and land despite the ongoing pandemic. After 45,985 cases of riots in 2019, last year recorded a total of 51,606 cases of riots including 857 cases concerning religious matters, 2,188 agrarian disputes, 10,652 of property altercations and 736 matters of caste conflict.
Adulteration cases have been increasing too. Under the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act, 25 cases were registered in 2018 and under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 49 and 175 cases were registered in 2018. The following year saw 49 such cases and 362 cases under PFA and FSAS Act, respectively. Last year, 65 and 625 cases were registered under these two laws — PFA and FSAS.
Overall crime in the country increased by 28% in 2020 over the non-pandemic year of 2019, according to NCRB, but this rise was mainly attributed to violation of Covid-19 norms and guidelines. The report lists a total of 66,01,285 cognizable crimes comprising 42,54,356 Indian Penal Code (IPC) violations and 23,46,929 crimes under Special and Local Laws (SLL). It shows an increase of 14,45,127 (28%) in registration of cases from 2019 (51,56,158 cases).
“Major increase was seen in cases registered under Section 188 of the IPC (Disobedience to Order Duly Promulgated by Public Servant) from 29,469 cases in 2019 to 6,12,179 cases in 2020 and under ‘Other IPC Crimes’ from 2,52,268 cases in 2019 to 10,62,399 cases in 2020....Effectively therefore, there is a decrease in registration of traditional crime by about two lakh cases,” the report stated.
Cyber offence cases in India rise by 11.8%
New Delhi: India recorded 50,035 cases of cyber crime in 2020, with a 11.8 per cent surge in such offences over the previous year, as 578 incidents of “fake news on social media” were also reported, official data showed on Wednesday. The rate of cyber crime (incidents per lakh population) also increased from 3.3 per cent in 2019 to 3.7 per cent in 2020 in the country. In 2019, the country recorded 44,735 cases of cyber crime, while the figures stood at 27,248 in 2018, the data from corresponding years showed. The year saw 4,047 cases of online banking fraud, 1,093 OTP frauds and 1,194 credit/debit card fraud.