There is a massive discrepancy in the number of the missing person’s complaints issued by the Mumbai police’s statistics department and those put up on its website, pointing to a fudging of records.
While the police website, which has cumulative figures for the year, suggests that only 926 persons went missing in 2011, the figures obtained from its statistics department show that the number is 7,673.
The discrepancy is even greater for 2010 — the website says 387 people went missing that year, while the official statistics state the number is 10,852.
Chetan Kothari, an RTI activist, said the statistics on the website are often forged. “I had filed an RTI request a few months ago asking for data on missing persons’ complaints filed in the past 10 years in Mumbai. I had to struggle a great deal to get these figures because though many people may not know, Mumbai records the highest number of such complaints in the country,” he said.
Nitai Mehta, trustee of Praja Foundation, a south Mumbai-based NGO, blamed the discrepancy on inefficient management of the police force. “There is no sanctity left of data with the government. Inefficiency has crept into every part of our governance, be it the police force or the municipal corporation. The truth is that there is no coordination between the various departments,” he said.
Nisar Tamboli, deputy commissioner of police (detection), when approached to comment on such large variation in the figures, said, “I do not have the figures with me and hence cannot comment on the issue.”
Additional commissioner of police (crime) Deven Bharti, who supervises both the missing persons’ bureau and the statistics department, was not available for comment.