Punjab records 13% rise in crime cases in 2020, drug FIRs drop by 40%: NCRB data
Punjab registered an increase of 13% in overall cases of crime in 2020 despite strict lockdowns enforced in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak even as there was 40% fall in first information reports (FIRs) related to drugs when compared to the previous year.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, 6,909 cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act were registered in Punjab against 11,536 in 2019, followed by Uttar Pradesh that recorded 10,852 such cases.
In 2020, a total of 82,875 cases were registered in Punjab under various sections of the Indian Penal Code besides special and local laws against 72,855 in 2019.
But the figures obtained from the police department reveal that despite less cases, the recovery of heroin remained record high at 759 kg in Punjab last year as compared 460 kg in 2019.
“The less number of cases was because there was a complete lockdown for nearly three months in the country followed by other restrictions later. The focus remained on implementing these guidelines and the war against drugs could have suffered,” said a senior special task force (STF) officer.
In 2020, crimes against women dipped in the state eve as the number rose in 2019 as compared to the previous year.
Rise in murders, suicides
There was an increase of 10% in cases of murder in Punjab from 679 in 2019 to 757 in 2020. The state also saw an increase in suicide cases from 25 in 2019 to 35 a year later.
No case of sedition was registered in the state in 2020.
In 2020, as many as 4,838 cases of crimes against women were registered against 5,886 the previous year, with a fall of nearly 18%. The crimes against women also decreased across the country by 21.1%, the NCRB report reveals.
Also, 502 cases of rape were registered in the state as compared to 1,002 in 2019. Punjab’s charge-sheeting rate in crimes against women was nearly 77% against the national average of 78.7%.
In terms of crimes against children, the number of cases registered also fell to 2,121 in 2020 from 2,625 in 2019. Besides, the state registered 63 cases of dowry deaths in 2020 as compared to 69 in 2019.
Chargesheeting rate below national average
According to the NCRB report, the rate of filing of chargesheets, the column added for first time to the bureau analysis, in Punjab was 82% against the national average of 85.2%.
The neighboring Haryana fared the worst in the category with a “chargesheeting rate” of 39.7%. Punjab is on the 16th spot among the states on this count.
Senior police officials attributed an increase in number of cases in Punjab to registration of FIRs of violations related to Covid-related curfew imposed in the state nearly throughout the year.