Known as Manchester of Punjab, the industrial city of Ludhiana has also become the ‘crime capital’ of Punjab with highest number of murders in the state. With 27 murders already until first week of May in 2014, Ludhiana has left other commissionerates, including Jalandhar and Amritsar, far behind.
While the number of murders is eight in Amritsar, the figure is seven in Jalandhar. The situation was no different in 2013 when Ludhiana witnessed 71 murders, while Amritsar police registered 18 murder cases and Jalandhar police 14.
The alarming situation has put the local police, who claim of taking steps to curtail crime, in a tizzy.
The local police officers attribute the over 30-lakh population in Ludhiana behind the high number of murder cases. They add that besides the huge population, with the city being industrial, the population of migrants is more in the city, and compared to the population, the police force is measly.
They also say in most of the murder cases, the accused are relatives or acquaintances of the victims, and most of the murders are due to extra-marital relationships.
Out of 27 murder cases of 2014, eight cases are lying unsolved, including the murder of Rahul Verma of South city.
It is pertinent to mention that sensing the crime rate and challenges associated with it, the Punjab government had implemented police commissionerate system in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar in February 2010.
In a bizarre coincidence, when the first police commissioner, Ishwar Singh, took the charge of police commissioner on February 13, 2010, a murder was reported the same day in the city.
When contacted, police commissioner Sanjiv Kalra said he had joined recently as police commissioner of Ludhiana, therefore, he could not say much about the situation, but added that he had directed all station house officers (SHO) to solve all pending cases, including murders.
Dr Rajiv Sharma, former psychiatrist, Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable (GTBC) Hospital, said anger, dissatisfaction, greed, unmet desires were among the many reasons behind the increasing crime in the city.
“Many people visit psychiatrists with stress over extramarital relationships. The stress leads to conflicting thoughts, also known as pathological thinking in medical terms. Moreover, increase in materialism has led to people not respecting relations and human life,” Dr Sharma added.