Assam tops all states in violent crime

A parliamentary standing committee has expressed serious concern over the extremely high rate of kidnapping of women in Assam.

By PANKAJ SARMA in Guwahati
  • Published 22.07.18

Guwahati: A parliamentary standing committee has expressed serious concern over the extremely high rate of kidnapping of women in Assam.

The department-related parliamentary standing committee on home affairs, headed by Congress MP P. Chidambaram, in its report on the security situation in the Northeast has recommended inter-state investigation to find out the reasons for this extremely high rate of kidnappings of women. Its report, tabled in both Houses of Parliament on July 19, also recommended that sustained operations be launched to trace and recover the victims of kidnappings and abductions.

"The committee is deeply worried to note that a large number of victims who were kidnapped or abducted in Assam before and during 2016 are yet to be recovered. Even more worrisome is the fact that a large majority, at more than 81 per cent, of victims are women," the report says.

The parliamentary panel was of the view that this may also point towards a connection between such abductions and human trafficking.

The committee asked the Union home ministry to submit a detailed status note about the action taken to recover such victims.

The report further said the committee is disconcerted to note that Assam has the highest rate of violent crimes, kidnappings and abductions, among all the states.

"The committee accepts that the insurgency-related instances of kidnappings and extortions may be on a decline, but a general rise in the instances of such crimes is worrying and the committee is perplexed that despite a waning trend in insurgency, violent crimes and kidnappings have been on a rise," it said.

The committee apprehended that this rise may be due to poor rehabilitation and settlement of former insurgents who may be indulging in such crimes for ransom and recommended that the central government, in coordination with state governments, closely monitor the activities of insurgents who have surrendered during the last decade, and also those with whom the government is holding negotiations. According to the committee, the number of kidnappings by insurgents shows 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 4824 in 2014 to 6128 in 2016. Moreover, of 6128 abductions, only 249 victims were recovered.

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. Assam also had the highest rate of violent crimes among all the states in 2016. An overwhelming 87 per cent of the victims of kidnappings and abductions were women.

The committee also recommended that the government ensure that talks are held with the Assam-based insurgent groups, including the Ulfa and NDFB factions, on a continuous basis with utmost sincerity to keep the insurgent groups at the negotiating table and maintain the security scenario in the northeastern region, achieved with painstaking efforts and numerous sacrifices.