Over 4.45 lakh crimes against women in 2022, one every 51 minutes: NCRB

Uttar Pradesh leads in crimes against women in absolute numbers, while Kolkata remains the safest metropolis for three consecutive years.

Published : Dec 06, 2023 21:27 IST - 10 MINS READ

The rate of crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh—which alone contributed nearly 15 per cent of such cases in India—stood at 58.6, according to the NCRB.

The rate of crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh—which alone contributed nearly 15 per cent of such cases in India—stood at 58.6, according to the NCRB. | Photo Credit: SHASHI SHEKHAR KASHYAP

The National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) annual report reveals a harrowing surge in crimes against women in India. With a staggering 4,45,256 cases registered in 2022 alone, equivalent to nearly 51 FIRs every hour, the data exposes a grim escalation from 2021 and 2020. The rate of crimes against women per lakh population stood at 66.4 while the charge sheeting in such cases was logged at 75.8, showed the data in “Crime in India 2022”, the annual crime report of the NCRB. The bureau is tasked with the collection and analysis of crime data and functions under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

The majority of crimes against women under the Indian Penal Code were of cruelty by husband or his relatives (31.4 per cent) followed by kidnapping and abduction of women (19.2 per cent), assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty (18.7 per cent), and rape (7.1 per cent), the NCRB stated.

Uttar Pradesh on top

With 14,247 cases in 2022, Delhi registered the highest rate of crimes against women in the country at 144.4—way above the country’s average rate of 66.4. Such cases in the national capital stood at 14,277 in 2021 and 10,093 in 2020, the official data showed.

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In absolute numbers, Uttar Pradesh (65,743) registered the maximum FIRs in cases of crimes against women in 2022, followed by Maharashtra (45,331), Rajasthan (45,058), West Bengal (34,738), and Madhya Pradesh (32,765). These five states together contributed to 2,23,635 (or 50.2 per cent) of the total cases lodged in India last year, according to the NCRB.

In 2021 and 2020, Uttar Pradesh registered 56,083 and 49,385 cases in this category followed by Rajasthan (40,738 and 34,535), Maharashtra (39,526 and 31,954), West Bengal (35,884 and 36,439), and Madhya Pradesh (30,673 and 25,640).

A total of 12 States and Union Territories recorded crime rates higher than the national average of 66.4. Delhi topped the list at 144.4 followed by Haryana (118.7), Telangana (117), Rajasthan (115.1), Odisha (103), Andhra Pradesh (96.2), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (93.7), Kerala (82), Assam (81), Madhya Pradesh (78.8), Uttarakhand (77), Maharashtra (75.1), and West Bengal (71.8). The rate of crime in Uttar Pradesh—which alone contributed nearly 15 per cent of the cases in India—stood at 58.6, according to the NCRB.

Slight decline in murder cases

A total of 28,522 FIRs of murder were registered in 2022—an average of 78 killings every day or more than three every hour—across India, down from 29,272 in 2021 and 29,193 in 2020, according to the latest NCRB data. “Disputes” with 9,962 cases was the motive in the highest number of murder cases in 2022, followed by “personal vendetta or enmity” in 3,761 cases and “gain” in 1,884 cases, it said.

The rate of murder per lakh population across the country stood at 2.1, while the charge sheeting in such cases was 81.5, according to the NCRB.

Uttar Pradesh saw the highest number of such FIRs at 3,491 in 2022, followed by Bihar (2,930), Maharashtra (2,295), Madhya Pradesh (1,978), and Rajasthan (1,834), with the top five States together accounting for 43.92 per cent of murder cases in the country, the data showed. The top five states with the least number of murder cases in 2022 were Sikkim (9), Nagaland (21), Mizoram (31), Goa (44), and Manipur (47).

Among Union Territories, Delhi registered 509 cases of murder in 2022, followed by Jammu and Kashmir (99), Puducherry (30), Chandigarh (18), Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (16), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (7), Ladakh (5), and Lakshadweep (zero).

Across India in 2022, the murder rate was highest in Jharkhand (4), followed by Arunachal Pradesh (3.6), Chhattisgarh and Haryana (both 3.4), Assam and Odisha (both 3). Uttar Pradesh (1.5), Bihar (2.3), Maharashtra (1.8), Madhya Pradesh (2.3), and Rajasthan (2.3) fared better in terms of crime per lakh population.

In terms of age, 95.4 per cent victims of murder were adults. Of the total murder victims, 8,125 were female and nine third-gender persons, with men constituting about 70 per cent of victims, according to the NCRB.

Four states contribute 75 per cent of UAPA cases

Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Assam, and Uttar Pradesh together registered over three-fourths of all UAPA cases in India in 2022, while one-fourth of sedition cases were registered in West Bengal alone, according to NCRB data on “Offences against the State”.

Altogether 20 cases of sedition under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code were lodged across India in 2022 while 1,005 were registered under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the report said.

Notably, sedition cases have come down since 2020 while those lodged under the UAPA saw a rise in the last three years, according to the data. In 2021, 76 cases of sedition and 814 cases of UAPA were lodged in the country, while in 2020 the figures for the same were logged at 73 and 796, official data from corresponding years showed.

Among States and Union Territories, the maximum number of UAPA cases were lodged in Jammu and Kashmir (371) followed by Manipur (167), Assam (133), and Uttar Pradesh (101). The maximum cases of sedition were lodged in West Bengal (5) followed by 3 each in Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, and Uttar Pradesh.

In 2022 as well as 2021, 55 FIRs were registered under the Official Secrets Act while 39 such offences were registered in 2020, according to the NCRB.

A total of 5,610 cases were registered in 2022 as compared to 5,164 cases in 2021, and 5,613 in 2020 under the wider category of “Offences against the State”. Of the total cases in 2022, 78.5 per cent were registered under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act (4,403 cases), followed by 1,005 (17.9 per cent) cases under the UAPA, the NCRB stated in its report.

The crime rate per lakh population in this category was logged at 0.4 while the charge sheeting rate was 80.8 in 2022, it showed. The maximum cases under the wider category of “Offences against the State” were registered in Uttar Pradesh (2,231), followed by Tamil Nadu (634), Jammu and Kashmir (417), Assam (298), and Kerala (297). Delhi registered 22 such cases in 2022, according to the report.

Most rioting cases in Maharashtra

Maharashtra has recorded as many as 8,218 cases of rioting in 2022, the highest in the country for the year. There was a significant rise in the number of rioting cases in Maharashtra last year, registered under IPC sections 147 to 151 (pertaining to rioting and unlawful assembly), according to the NCRB report.

Maharashtra recorded a total of 8,218 rioting cases, in which 9,558 persons were victims, the data showed. Of these rioting cases, 28 were linked to communal and religious issues, 75 cases to political issues, and 25 others to caste-related conflicts. Bihar ranked second with 4,736 cases of rioting and is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 4,478 such cases.

Delhi most unsafe metropolis in crimes involving juveniles

Juveniles were found to be involved in 2,436 criminal cases reported in Delhi in 2022, compared to 2,618 in 2021 and 2,336 in 2020. The figure is much higher in comparison to the other 19 metropolitan cities in India, according to the NCRB data.

Of the total, 92 cases were of murders and 154 were attempts to murder, it stated. Juveniles were involved in 86 cases of rape, 68 cases were of outraging the modesty of women, 22 cases of kidnapping and abduction, 286 cases were related to hurt, 862 cases of theft, 235 cases of robberies, and 24 cases of rash driving in 2022 in Delhi.

According to the NCRB data, Delhi was followed by Chennai where juveniles were found to be involved in 521 criminal cases last year. Ahmedabad saw 433 such cases, followed by Mumbai (363), Hyderabad (300), Pune (278), Indore (211), Nagpur (210), Jaipur (205), and Surat (137), the data stated.

In Kolkata, juveniles were found to be involved in nine criminal cases in 2022.

Kolkata safest city in India

Kolkata emerged as the safest city in India for the third consecutive year, recording the least number of cognisable offences per lakh population among metropolises, the NCRB report said. The eastern metropolis, which reported 86.5 cases of cognisable offences per lakh people in 2022, was followed by Pune (280.7) and Hyderabad (299.2).

Cognisable crimes are those for which cases are registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Special and Local Laws (SLL). For such crimes, the police can make an arrest without a warrant or prior court permission.

According to the NCRB report, Kolkata registered 103.4 cases of cognisable crimes per lakh people in 2021, which dropped to 86.5 in 2022. In 2020, the count was 129.5. In 2021, Pune and Hyderabad had reported 256.8 and 259.9 cognisable offences per lakh population, respectively.

Kolkata, however, recorded an increase in crimes against women as the number of cases rose from 1,783 in 2021 to 1,890 in 2022, the report stated. The crime rate against women in Kolkata was at 27.1 per lakh population, greater than Coimbatore’s 12.9 and Chennai’s 17.1.

In 2022, Kolkata also witnessed a drop in violent crimes with only 34 murder cases being reported, down from 45 last year. According to the report, Kolkata registered 11 rapes in 2022, the same number reported in 2021.

Kerala tops filing of charge sheets

Kerala has the highest rate of filing charge sheets in the country for offences under the IPC, according to the NCRB. While Kerala came first with a charge-sheeting rate of 96 per cent for such crimes, Puducherry was second with 91.3 per cent and West Bengal third with 90.6 per cent.

Kerala also showed a high charge-sheeting rate of 99.1 per cent for crimes under SLL but it was the fifth-highest in the country, according to NCRB figures for 2020-2022. The charge-sheeting rate is the percentage of cases charge-sheeted by police of the total number of cases disposed of in a particular year.

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Besides ranking first in the charge-sheeting rate, Kerala was also ahead in terms of the crime rate per lakh population for IPC crimes—offences against public tranquillity, rash driving, and the total cognisable offences—and under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

According to the NCRB data, the total cognisable offences under the IPC in Kerala in 2022 was 2,35,858 (2.35 lakh) with a crime rate of 661 per lakh population, the highest in India. Of those cognisable offences, 1,63,100 (1.63 lakh) were incidents of rash and negligent driving in 2022 with a crime rate of 457.1 per lakh population. The data showed this was also the highest in the country in 2022.

Note of caution

In a note of caution about the annual report, the NCRB said the primary presumption that the upward swing in police data indicates an increase in crime and thus a reflection of the ineffectiveness of the police is fallacious.

“’Rise in crime’ and ‘increase in registration of crime by police’ are clearly two different things, a fact which requires better understanding. Thus an oft-repeated expectation from certain quarters that an effective police administration will be able to keep the crime figures low is misplaced,” it stated.

“Increase in crime numbers in a state police data may in fact be on account of certain citizen-centric police initiatives, like launching of e-FIR facility or women helpdesks,” it said. “The increase or decrease in crime numbers, however, does call for a professional investigation of underlying factors pertaining to the local communities to suitably address the pertinent issues,” it added.

(with inputs from PTI)

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