NEW DELHI, July 27 - Assam has now earned the dubious distinction of recording the highest incidents of violent crimes, including extortions and abductions, in the country.
A parliamentary panel attached to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in its latest report that it is disconcerted to note that Assam has the highest rate of violent crimes, including kidnappings and abductions, among all the States of India.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee, headed by P Chidambaram of the Congress party, in its report �Security Situation in the North Eastern States of India� said it accepts that the insurgency-related instances of kidnappings and extortions may be on a decline, but the general rise in the instances of such crimes is worrying. The report was tabled in the Parliament.
The committee is perplexed that despite a waning trend in insurgency, violent crimes have been on the rise. The committee apprehends that this rise may be due to poor rehabilitation and settlement of former insurgents, who may be indulging in such crimes for ransom.
It was recommended that the Central government, in coordination with the State government, should closely monitor the activities of insurgents, who have surrendered during the last decade, and also those with whom the government is presently holding negotiations. It is deeply worrisome to note that a large number of victims, who were kidnapped or abducted in Assam before and during 2016, are yet to be traced. More worrisome is the fact that a large majority, at over 81 percent, of victims are women.
This may also point towards a connection between such abductions and human trafficking. It was, therefore, recommended that an inter-State investigation may be carried out to find out the reasons for this extremely high rate of kidnappings of women. It was also recommended that sustained operations must be launched to trace and recover the victims of kidnappings and abductions. The committee desires that the ministry submit a detailed status note about the action taken to recover such victims.
Assam also had the highest rate of violent crimes among all the States in 2016. An overwhelming 87 percent of the victims of kidnappings and abductions were women. Moreover, out of 6,128 abductions, only 249 victims were recovered. Assam also reported a huge number of 13,413 unrecovered victims of kidnappings and abductions that happened before 2016.
While the number of kidnappings related activities of the insurgents show a marked decline from 94 in 2014 to 14 in 2016, the number of kidnapping and abductions, in general, as reported by the National Crime Record Bureau in the Crime in India-2016 report, shows a significant rise during this period from 4,824 in 2014 to 6,128 in 2016. The data given in this report also shows that with a rate of 18.8 kidnappings and abductions per thousand persons in 2016, Assam had the highest rate of kidnappings and abductions among all the States across the country.
There was a substantial improvement in security situation in the State in 2017; the insurgent related incidents declined from 246 in 2014 to just 81 in 2015, and further came down to 75 in 2016 and to 33 in 2017 being lowest since 1997. The casualties of civilians and security forces personnel were also lowest at 9 in 2017. This was approximately 99 percent less than the 1,136 deaths of civilians and security forces that occurred in 1997. Moreover, 16 insurgents were killed, while 204 were arrested during 2017.