Delhi saw 40 murders every month in 2018; guns, sharp-edged weapons most preferred weapons
The police said that 38% of all murders were committed over personal enmity or a dispute. These included people killed in gang wars or property and monetary disputes.Updated: Jan 10, 2019 12:40 IST
Guns or sharp-edged weapons were used in nearly two of every three murders in Delhi in 2018, the year which witnessed an average of 40 murders every month and when the total number of murders increased by 3.25% compared to the last year.
Annual crime data for 2018 released by the police on Wednesday also shows that 477 murders were reported from the national Capital, up from 462 in 2017. It also shows that nearly 11% of the people murdered in the city were killed by people who had another crime as their motive, such as a robbery or rape.
The police said they were able to solve 410 cases (86.16%) but the cracking rate slipped as compared to the previous year when 88.53% of murder cases were solved.
The police said that 38% of all murders were committed over personal enmity or a dispute. These included people killed in gang wars or property and monetary disputes.
One such example that stood out last year was of two brothers who belonged to an affluent family in north Delhi, but ended up dead while fighting each other over a long-standing parking dispute.
Sudden provocations or “trivial issues”, such as a drunken brawl or a road rage, accounted for another 21% of the deaths. The murder of a gymnasium trainer for insisting that his favourite music track be played at a club in west Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh was one such murder that drew attention in May last year.
“Such murders take place within seconds in the heat of the moment. Killers and the victims were often strangers to each other. Most of the killers in such cases were first-time offenders and regretted their action immediately,” said a senior police officer.
“Passion” related killings accounted for 11% of all murders. These mainly included jealous or suspicious lovers, married partners, or people indulging in extramarital affairs.The remaining 19% murders either fell in the “other” category or the victims remained unidentified.
Sharp-edged weapons such as knives, cleavers or ice pricks were the most preferred weapons by killers in Delhi. They were used by 43% of all killers. Nineteen per cent of other killers used firearms, which included illegal country made weapons, or even licenced guns, the data shows.
Sixteen per cent of other killers used any blunt object, like a brick or a baseball bat, for the killings. Another 14% used either bare hands, or cloth or ropes to strangulate their victims to death. A small percentage (2%) of killers doused their enemies in petrol or kerosene before lighting them.
For being able to work out a high percentage of cases, investigators credited technology such as CCTV footage and mobile phone locations as well as the “unplanned manner” in which killers commit the crime in a fit of rage. “Some killers walked to the police station or called the police control room after the murders. That eased our work,” said an officer.
The police officers also pointed out that even though the number of murders rose slightly in 2018 over last year, overall trend suggests that the city had witnessed a “significant decline” of 20% in such case in the last 14 years.
First Published: Jan 10, 2019 12:40 IST