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In pandemic year, Covid violations push up crime rate by 28%: NCRB

In pandemic year, Covid violations push up crime rate by 28%: NCRB

New Delhi: In a year impacted massively by Covid and corresponding lockdowns, the overall crime in the country increased by 28 per cent in 2020 over the non-pandemic year of 2019, the latest report on crime in India by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) highlights.

This rise, however, has largely been attributed to crimes registered for Covid-19 violations, as the number of other crimes actually decreased in 2020 compared to 2019.

The NCRB released its crime data for 2020 on Tuesday. The report lists a total of 66,01,285 cognizable crimes comprising 42,54,356 Indian Penal Code (IPC) violations and 23,46,929 crimes under Special and Local Laws (SLL). It shows an increase of 14,45,127 (28%) in registration of cases over 2019 (51,56,158 cases). The crime rate (number of cases registered per one lakh population) has also increased from 385.5 in 2019 to 487.8 in 2020.

"Major increase was seen in cases registered under Section 188 of the IPC (Disobedience to Order Duly Promulgated by Public Servant) from 29,469 cases in 2019 to 6,12,179 cases in 2020 and under 'Other IPC Crimes' from 2,52,268 cases in 2019 to 10,62,399 cases in 2020," the NCRB report says.

Nearly 77 rape cases were reported across India on an average every day in 2020, totalling 28,046 such incidents during the year, the data showed.

Overall, 3,71,503 cases of crime against women were reported across the country last year, down from 4,05,326 in 2019 and 3,78,236 in 2018, the NCRB, which functions under the Union Home ministry, stated.

Of the total cases of crimes against women in 2020, there were 28,046 incidents of rape involving 28,153 victims, according to the NCRB data for the year, which witnessed COVID-19 outbreak and pandemic-induced lockdowns. Out of the total victims, 25,498 were adults, while 2,655 were below the age of 18 years, it stated.

The number of rape cases, as defined in the Indian Penal Code Section 376, stood at 32,033 in 2019, 33,356 in 2018 and 32,559 in 2017. The figure for 2016 was 38,947, according to NCRB data from corresponding years.

Among states and Union Territories, the maximum of 5,310 rape cases were lodged in Rajasthan in 2020 followed by Uttar Pradesh (2,769), Madhya Pradesh (2,339), Maharashtra (2,061) and Assam (1,657).

National Capital Delhi logged 997 such cases during the year, the data revealed. India recorded 50,035 cases of cybercrime in 2020, with an 11.8 per cent surge in such offences over the previous year, as 578 incidents of "fake news on social media" were also reported, official data showed on Tuesday. The rate of cybercrime (incidents per lakh population) also increased from 3.3 per cent in 2019 to 3.7 per cent in 2020 in the country, according to the data. In 2019, the country recorded 44,735 cases of cybercrime, while the figures stood at 27,248 in 2018, the data from corresponding years showed. The year saw 4,047 cases of online banking fraud, 1,093 OTP frauds and 1,194 credit/debit card fraud, while 2,160 cases related to ATM were reported in 2020, the NCRB figures showed.

There were also 578 cases of fake news on social media, 972 related to cyberstalking or bullying of women and children, 149 incidents of fake profile and 98 of data theft, it added.

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