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    UP government's data on decreasing crime rate triggers row

    Synopsis

    The state government has released figures for the first seven months of each year since 2012, claiming that the three major crimes of murder, rape and dacoity have seen a consistent decline since the BJP came to power in the state in 2017.

    Congress general secretary, UP, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, said three journalists had been murdered in UP in the past three months and that the state’s “crime meter” was rising every day.
    The Uttar Pradesh government’s claim that the crime rate in the state has seen a consistent decline has triggered a political row, with the opposition Samajwadi Party accusing the Yogi Adityanath regime of fudging data as it pointed to a string of cases such as the murder of journalist Ratan Singh in Ballia on Monday.

    The state government has released figures for the first seven months of each year since 2012, claiming that the three major crimes of murder, rape and dacoity have seen a consistent decline since the BJP came to power in the state in 2017.

    According to the data, the number of murders in the state fell to 2,032 in January-July this year from 2,204 in 2019 and 2,762 in 2016. Similarly, the number of rapes fell 39% to 1,216 this year from the figure in 2016.

    The main opposition party has questioned the data, saying that this year’s figures could have been lower due to the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19.

    “Should we look at the repeated crimes or at the government’s figures?” SP spokesman and MLC Sunil Singh Yadav told ET. “Much of UP was under lockdown this year so what is the logic of comparing the figures of the first seven months with previous years? The government is fudging figures by deliberately keeping them low as FIRs (first information reports) are not being registered. BJP MLAs are complaining they are pained over police not acting.”

    SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday pointed to what he termed repeated incidents of crimes in the CM’s home district of Gorakhpur and said that if murders, rapes and kidnappings continued, “Gorakhpur will have to be renamed Gunahpur (crime capital)”. “How can a person who cannot handle his city handle the entire state?” said Yadav.

    Congress general secretary, UP, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, said three journalists had been murdered in UP in the past three months and that the state’s “crime meter” was rising every day.

    UP BJP secretary Chandra Mohan, in turn, dismissed the allegations made by the SP and Congress. “Every FIR is registered… we even started the facility of online FIRs. Akhilesh Yadav should instead answer where is the mafia now which ruled in his reign in UP?” he said.

    While admitting that “social crimes occurring in UP are a challenge”, he said the state was gearing up to tackle the problem. “We are preparing a new organisational arrangement to handle crimes against women and children. Police is acting in each of such crimes,” he said.

    He said that during the BJP rule the police had taken a record number of actions under the Goonda Act, Gangster Act and National Security Act to deter criminals.

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