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Monday, March 25, 2019

REPORT CARD OF CHOUKIDAR

By on Monday, March 25, 2019

UMA SHANKER SINGH IFS, PhD 
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on 15th March launched Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign for upcoming Lok Sabha elections, urging everyone, who cares of the country, to come forward to fight corruption, dirt, social evils and many of us started prefixing Choukidar before his name including a couple of my batch mates.
Several Union Ministers, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, prefixed ‘chowkidar’ (watchman) to their names.
The party leaders also put out short advertisement videos showing that people from different walks of life have turned ‘Chowkidars’ to do their bit for the country like Modi. Modi’s Twitter profile identified him as “Chowkidar Narendra Modi” and similar was the case with other BJP leaders as they launched a coordinated campaign.
On the eve of Holi, Prime Minister decided to address over 25 lakhs watchmen through audio bridge medium. This also surprised me that how our Prime Minister reached to the figures of twenty five lakhs watchmen because we have no survey about their numbers till to this day in our country.
This motivated me to go in for a reality check on some of the issues because India being a vast country; although it was not possible for me to scan the entire spectrum in each of the schemes, the Railway Minister was first to prefix Choukidar before his name therefore, so I decided to see how Railways fared in last year.
GENESIS OF WORD ‘CHOUKIDAR’
The word Chowkidar has been derived from Urdu and consists of two components namely, Caukī (‘toll house’) + -dār (‘keeper’). A Choukidar is a guard or watchman (Collins dictionary). In India, it is synonymous with watchman, one who inhabits a "Chouki”, police station or guard house.
CRIMES IN TRAINS ON RISE
According to data, theft aboard trains across the country doubled in 2017 compared to the previous year, while robbery cases increased by almost 70 percent.
Crime against women, including rape, increased from 604 in 2016 to 641 in 2017, while 193 cases were reported until March2018.
Data also shows that Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have topped in the list of states where the uncountable crime cases have been reported sofar.
The following table gives us fairly good idea about the rising crime in Railways in some of the states known for notoriety in this sector.
While a total of 71,055 crime cases were reported across the country in 2017, compared to 39,355 the year before and 20,777 crime-cases were reported till March in 2018. Crime against women, including rape, increased from 604 in 2016 to 641 in 2017, while 193 cases were reported until March2018. The report of the 2019 is not yet published.

TABLE- SURGE IN CRMINAL CASES IN RAILWAYS


States
 2016
2017
2018(TILL MARCH)
MAHARASHTRA
7,338
33,145
11,614
UTTAR PRADESH
7,692
8,383
1,909
MADHYA PRADESH
5,358
7,431
1,973
TAMIL NADU
668
1,8839
1,230
BIHAR
2,681
2,855
666

 According to official records, Maharashtra reported 11,614 crimes till March2018, while 33,145 were reported in 2017 and 7,338 were in 2016. The reason behind this sudden rise is that crimes on local trains were taken into account. This may explain the inordinate number of crimes reported from Maharashtra.
Presently, the RPF investigates only criminal cases related to the railway property, and relies on the Government Railway Police (GRP), under the state governments, to register FIRs and investigate the cases.
The two proposals to widen the ambit of the RPF were sent to the Centre earlier, but were rejected for the reasons best known to them.
COMMUNAL RIOTS ON RISE
Reccently Choukidar Mukhtar Naqvi said in a press conference that there have been “no big communal riots” in India over the past four years, but having checked them with the government data it was found wanting.
 Three “major communal incidents” were reported in 2017. A “major” communal incident is: one that results in more than five deaths or leaves over 10 people injured. An incident that results in one death or 10 injured is termed as “important or significant”.
Communal riots under the National Democratic Alliance government led by the BJP increased 28% over three years to 2017 -- 822 “incidents” were recorded that year!
Kasganj in Western UP witnessed communal violence on January 26, 2018, in which a 22-year old youth Handan Gupta was killed after being hit by a bullet.
Communal incidents in UP have increased 47% from 133 in 2014 to 195 in 2017. India was ranked fourth in the world in 2015–after Syria, Nigeria and Iraq–for the highest social hostilities involving religion.
The Huffington Post reported on April 14, 2017. As many as 7,484 communal incidents have been reported over the last decade–between 2008 and 2017– or two every day, killing over 1,100 people, according to data released to the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament).
CRIME ON RISE
The spike in crimes is a major concern as the crime rate in India was already quite high. It is worth mentioning here that, in 2016, according to the NCRB data, the total crimes were recorded to be 2.97 million while the crime rate was found to be 379 crimes per lakh population.
 Coming to the specifics of the report, the murder count has increased from 53 to 59, cases of kidnapping for ransom increased from 1 to 3; the rape cases went up to 243 from 240; and the death due to dowry cases also saw a spike increasing from 14 to 19.
 Notably, all these data are a comparison of the crime recorded in the first 45 days with the crimes during the same period in 2016. The molestation cases have seen a nominal dip from 378 cases last year to 315 cases this year.
 A 2017 report by Global Peace Index had claimed India to be the fourth most dangerous country for the women travelers. Gender Vulnerability Index 2017 compiled by Ministry of Women and Child Development found Bihar, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand to be the bottom four in terms of safety. The data highlight the urgent need to ensure proper law and order situation in the country.
COMPARISION WITH BJP RULED STATES
We have to compare some of the states who were BJP ruled or till recently ruled by BJP so that we come to a conclusion.
The latest data for 2014-16 reveals that the BJP ruled states recorded highest crime rates against scheduled castes. The NCRB data, released today says that the five states that recorded the highest crime rate in the category of "crime/atrocities against scheduled castes" during 2014-16 were all ruled by the BJP directly or in alliance with other parties. Madhya Pradesh occupies the top position in crime against scheduled castes in terms of crime rate, which is defined by the incidents of crime recorded per one lakh population. Madhya Pradesh registered 3,294 incidents of crime against scheduled castes in 2014 followed by 3,546 in 2015 and 4,922 in 2017.
 Madhya Pradesh reported 12.1 per cent of total number of crimes against scheduled castes registered in the country last year. Madhya Pradesh is followed by Rajasthan, which recorded 12.6 per cent of total number of crimes recorded against scheduled castes in the country in 2016.
RISE IN BANK FRAUDS
Frauds in the banking industry increased by 72 per cent to Rs 412 billion in 2017-2018, against Rs 239 billion in the previous year. This jump was mainly on account of the Rs 140 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, said a report by the RBI recently. The number of fraud cases stood at 5,917 cases in 2017-18 against 5,076 cases in 2016-2017. This was a rise of 16.5 per cent over the previous year with an incremental 841 cases.
The number of fraud cases reported by banks was generally hovering at around 4,500 in the past 10 years before their increase to 5,835 in 2017-18, said RBI's annual report released in August 2018. The rise in frauds in 2017-2018 was mainly on account of the rise in the value of frauds. "Incidentally, large value frauds involving Rs 500 million and above constituted about 80 per cent of all the frauds during the year," said the RBI.