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Crime rate soars in Tripura - Bride murder, suicide, accident-related deaths up, militancy ebbs

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  • Published 2.09.14
Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar and other ministers participate in a peace rally in Agartala on Monday to mark the anniversary of World War II. (PTI)

Agartala, Sept. 1: For two long decades, militancy was responsible for most deaths in Tripura.

This past year, the number of deaths from suicides, fatal road mishaps and crimes against women (nearly 2,000) has shot well past insurgency-related deaths (a home ministry report today put militancy-related deaths at 3).

The facts came out in the course of the second day’s proceedings of the ongoing autumn session of the Assembly.

Though the proceedings today ended at lunch break — as the entire treasury bench, including all ministers, Speaker and Deputy Speaker were to walk in a massive peace march through the main streets of Agartala — chief minister Manik Sarkar, who also holds the home portfolio, tabled details of death rates in suicides, road mishaps and crimes against women in the House.

Replying to a query raised jointly by leader of the Opposition Sudip Roy Barman and Congress MLAs, Pranjit Singha Roy and Diba Chandra Hrangkhawal, Sarkar said during an 11-month period between September 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014, altogether 30 brides had been killed in dowry-related cases.

During this period, a whopping 1,582 cases of rape and other crimes against women had been registered with 71 police stations and 35 police outposts. Out of altogether 3,771 people named as accused in complaints with the police, 2,342 had been arrested, Sarkar told the House.

Reacting to supplementaries from the Opposition regarding lack of efficiency on the part of police, Sarkar said the police were under strict instruction to handle cases of crimes against women with “special care and sensitivity”. But more startling was the statistical data furnished by Sarkar on incidence of suicides in the state.

Replying to a query from veteran Congress MLA, Ratan Lal Nath, Sarkar said during the seven-month period between January 1 and July 31 this year, altogether 284 people, including women and children, had committed suicide in the state.

“This works out to a rate of more than one a day. It is a matter of deep concern and we are planning to deal with it with utmost seriousness,” Sarkar said.

Nath did not raise any supplementary but he the told media in the chamber allotted to the Opposition in the Assembly, that many murders were being categorised by the police as cases of suicide.

High incidence of road mishaps also emerged as an area of concern among members of the Assembly cutting across political affiliations. Furnishing data on road mishaps and fatalities, Sarkar, replying to a query from Nath, said during the period of six months between February 1 and July 31 this year altogether 400 cases of road mishaps had been registered with police stations and outposts in the state.

“Altogether 87 people died in road mishaps and 707 suffered injuries. The traffic control system is being tightened to curb road mishaps,” Sarkar said.

Replying to queries from the Opposition, Sarkar also apprised the House of the situation pertaining to setting up of barbed ware fencing along the state’s 856km-long border with Bangladesh. “For various reasons including terrain, objections from the Border Guard Bangladesh or objections from people living along border, fencing along 129.636km stretch of border remains to be completed. The Centre is being persuaded to finish the work soon.”

Sarkar added that between Janaury 1 and August 15 this year altogether 1,128 Bangladeshi infiltrators had been caught on the Indian side and all of them had been pushed back across the border by the BSF or Mobile Task Force (MTF) personnel.