The last time police actually investigated a case in Daulatpura, a tiny hamlet in Rajasthan’s Banswara district, was way back in 2008, an incident of rash driving. But it is nothing out of the ordinary for the people of the village where only four cases have been registered since Independence.
Though crime-free villages are not rare in India, Daulatpura has emerged as a role-model in a state with a crime rate higher than the national average.
Officials said Daulatpura’s unique quality was discovered recently under a move by the state government to identify villages maintaining social harmony and a crime-free environment. The village is about 580 km from the state’s capital Jaipur.
“Going to police is not a good thing,” said Dulji Patidar, a sixty-year-old resident of the village, adding that he has been witness to numerous occasions when villagers got together to sort out their differences.
Located 4km from the nearest town Arthuna, Daulatpura is a relatively prosperous village with 20 out of its 200-odd residents working in different places in east Asia.
Former sarpanch Bhura Lal said that economic stability of villagers and availability of irrigation water as the reasons for the low crime rate, as most people are busy in their farm land.
Surendra Solanki, the station house officer of Arthuna under which Daulatpura falls, said quoting official records that the four cases registered so far include an incident of theft in 1956, two cases of assault in 1990 and 2007 besides the case of rash driving in 2008.
Out of the four, the 1990 and 2007 cases were withdrawn after compromise between the two parties, he added.
“The village has had a tradition of sorting out things among themselves instead of approaching police,” said Dilip Singh, a government school teacher who lives in Senala, the neighbouring village.
Banswara superintendent of police Anand Sharma told HT over telephone that besides Daulatpura, another village, Khatelasaath, too has been identified with very low crime rate.
“We organised functions in both places to honour the locals for keeping their villages litigation-free and awarded the police constable for ensuring such an environment,” Sharma added.
Data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show that in 2014, Rajasthan’s crime rate of more than 300 per 100,000 people was higher than the all-India average of 229.