Dimapur | November 13
Nagaland witnessed a fall in incidence of murder and kidnapping in 2017. As per the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) delayed ‘Crime in India’ statistical compendium for 2017 — released in October 2019 after a gap of two years – murder and kidnapping & abduction cases in Nagaland clocked at 36 and 66, respectively.
The number of murder cases in 2016 was also 36 and this figure happened to be the lowest reported annually since 2005 in the state. Annual murder cases officially reported has not crossed triple figures in Nagaland, except in 2008, when the state was gripped with inter-factional killings. As per the NCRB, 143 murder cases were reported in 2008, while data furnished by the Nagaland Police Headquarters in 2014 tipped it at 103.
The number of victims in the 36 reported murder cases totalled 39. The victims included 1 male child, 30 male adults and 8 female adults. “Blind murder/no clue/motive not known” were attributed as the motive in 12 of the cases. 2 were attributed to “insurgency” and the rest to personal vendetta, (wrongful) gain, love affairs, road rage, robbery etc.
Kidnapping and abduction
Cases of kidnapping and abduction dropped to 66 in 2017 after showing relatively high figures in 2016 and 2015.
State police officials however maintain that not all the cases reported under this crime head can be deemed “kidnapping and abduction” in essence.
“Technically, any missing report, especially of a minor or woman is deemed as kidnapping,” commented one police official. He added that in many instances, inquiry pointed to cases of runaways and eloping.
“Actual kidnapping and abduction would account for only around 10-20 percent of the total reported cases,” the official said.
As far as the NCRB data was concerned, the number of victims in the 66 reported cases were 77— 31 adults and 46 children or 40 males and 37 females.
The number of “unrecovered victims” as on 31/12/2017, including 68 from previous years, totaled 145. As per the data, during the year, 81 persons (44 female, 37 male) were “recovered” alive and one female victim recovered dead. The status of 63 others (26 male, 37 female) read “unrecovered or in other words— unknown.
Other IPC and SLL offences
The total cognizable crimes registered in 2017 stood at 1553, relatively less than the 1908 and 1928 cases reported in 2016 and 2015, respectively. The incidence rate in 2017 was 44.3 per lakh population.
Extortion and liquor related offences led with as many as 170 cases booked under the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act, while extortion & blackmailing followed with 143 reported cases. 92 of the extortion cases were reported from Dimapur and 139 persons arrested, as per statistics furnished by the Dimapur police in September 2019.
As many as 5 cases of “rioting” were also registered. 2 were classified as “political” in nature and 2 others "rioting/attacks on police or government servants." The year 2017 was marked by public unrest rocking the state in connection to elections to Urban Local Bodies.
There were 7 cases relating to “offences against the state” which were booked under the relevant IPC sections read in consonance with Special Acts and Local Laws (SLL), particularly the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
In total, 485 cases were booked under SLL. 126 of the offences were booked under the Arms and Explosives Acts. 117 of it related to possession of illicit firearms and 7 to explosives.
A total of 81 cases were reported under the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. 15 of the cases were for drug possession for personal use and 66 classified as drug trafficking.
Interestingly, not a single case was reported under the Prevention of Corruption and the Electricity Acts.