BENGALURU: Organised crime has always existed in India. It has, however, assumed its virulent form in modern times due to several socio-economic factors and advances in science and technology. With that said, Karnataka has its own act to control organised crime in the state.
In the last two months this year alone, there have been 28 murder cases, eight dacoity, 40 Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) and 45 (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) NDPS cases registered as per City Crime Records Bureau.
Even so, since 2017, only five cases have been registered under Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act 2000. In 2017, notorious gangsters, Silent Sunil along with nine other persons were arrested as they were about to commit armed dacoity and were booked under the IPC, Arms Act and KCOCA. In 2018, the Special Investigation Team of the Karnataka police had invoked the KCOCA against 12 people who had been named as accused in the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh.
In 2019, three CCB cases had the KCOCA invoked – Shivakumaraiah, the kingpin of the paper leak racket, land grabber and notorious rowdy Lokesh aka Mulama. After the murder of rowdy and land grabber Lakshmana last week, KCOCA was invoked against Mirle Varadwaj, the real-estate operator.
“Earlier, the police did not make sufficient use of this act but from this year onwards, more cases are expected to be booked. Two chargesheets need to be filed against the criminal,” explained Deputy commissioner of police (crime) S Girish. Police sources told CE that local police stations need to look into repeat offenders and invoke KCOCA. “The KCOCA is a stringent act where the criminals do not receive bail for a year,” Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar told CE.
What the act states
i) Communication or association with any person with the knowledge or having reason to believe that such person is engaged in assisting in any manner, an organized crime syndicate; (ii) Passing on or publication of, without any lawful authority, any information likely to assist an organised crime syndicate and the passing on or publication of or distribution of any document or matter obtained from an organized crime syndicate; and (iii) Rendering of any assistance, whether financial or otherwise, to an organized crime syndicate