Armed with statistics, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday countered the opposition’s claims that the State’s crime rate was on the rise.
The Chief Minister used numbers to point out that the crime graph had actually fallen since she took charge in 2011 and that it had rocketed during the DMK regime. She also said the police force in the State was now functioning without interference and that it was performing well in fighting crime.
She made a case in point out of murders, which she said were now growing at a slower rate compared to their rise under the previous government. “Under my previous stint as CM, there were 1,487 murders in 2003. This had fallen to 1,274 in 2011. But, under the DMK regime, murders rose by 25.5 per cent,” Jayalalithaa told the Assembly, speaking during the debate and in her reply over the demand grants for the Police and Fire & Rescue Services Departments.
“After I took charge in 2011, the growth rate in murders came down to 1.86 per cent in 2011. Despite the fact that it rose to 3.38 per cent in 2012, it has still reduced by 2 per cent from the DMK regime,” she said. However, murders are not the most ideal way to measure the performance of the police force as a vast majority of them happen in the heat of the moment, she added. Instead, the number of murder-for-gain cases offered a better insight into the effectiveness of policing, she said.
Murder-for-gain cases, which were 153 in 2010, fell to 137 in 2012, recording a 10.45 per cent drop. She also pointed out that the crime rate, which is calculated as the number of crimes committed per one lakh citizens, had fallen from 277.08 in 2010 to 239.57 in 2012. These were testaments to the improvement of the functioning of the police force, she held.
She blamed the poor track record of the police during the previous DMK regime on interference from many quarters. “This interference came from many anti-social power centres under the DMK regime. Police were often caught between the different sets of instructions from different power centres,” she said.
Jayalalithaa also used the example of land grab cases to bring home the point that the police force was functioning without the interference from her government. “Many have been arrested and kept in jail on land grab charges. Some of them are even from my own party, the AIADMK. But we will not interfere, and we will let law take its course,” she said.