Though published after a year’s delay, the NCRB 2017 report makes note of several types of crimes that India had no data on, before this.

Cyber crime against women to sexual abuse of boys What new data in NCRB 2017 covers
news Crime Friday, October 25, 2019 - 19:03

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Monday night published its report on Crime in India in the year 2017. Although it was published over a year after it was supposed to have been released, the report has presented some new data that was not there in previous NCRB reports. Though data on mob lynchings, khap killings and murders committed by influential people has not been included, earlier, many crimes that used to be clubbed have now been separated and the report is more detailed.

In its foreword, the NCRB stated that improvements have been undertaken to make the report more comprehensive, informative and useful for the parliamentarians, policy makers, states and union territories, researchers, academicians and other stakeholders. “Data is also now being collected under several SLL (Special and Local Laws) Acts such as The Chit Fund Act, The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, The Food Safety & Standards Act, Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), etc,” the report said.

Here are the new additions to the NCRB data: 

Cyber crime against women and children

The report for the first time includes data on cyberstalking and cyberbullying of women. A total of 555 cases of cyberstalking and cyberbullying of women have been registered across India in 2017, with Maharashtra registering the most number of cases — 301 — among the states. Andhra Pradesh, with 48 cases, was second, and 27 cases were reported from Telangana and Haryana each, putting them at third place. 

The report also mentions cyberstalking and cyberbullying cases against children. A total of seven cases were reported from across India, with three cases being reported from Maharashtra. Across India, a total of 88 cyber crimes against children were reported. 

Sexual harassment at the work, shelters, and public transport 

Under numbers for crimes registered under section 354A (sexual harassment), the NCRB this time has taken cognisance of sexual harassment of women at the workplace, in public transport and in shelter homes for women and children. Instead of just giving one figure for states and cities for cases registered under section 354A, the NCRB also breaks it down into the above categories. 

Out of a total of 20,948 sexual harassment cases in India, the incidence was highest in Telangana when it came to sexual harassment at the workplace with 117 cases; Bihar reported the most number of women harassed on public transport (106); Uttar Pradesh had the most women who said they were sexually harassed in shelter homes for women and children (239). 

Out of these, maximum sexual harassment was reported on public transport (599 cases), as compared to at work (479) and in shelter homes (544). 

However, the numbers indicated under-reporting with many states reporting no sexual harassment in these places. 

Sexual abuse of boys explicitly documented

The annual crime statistics for the National Crime Records Bureau for 2017 explicitly acknowledged for the first time that boys can be victims of child sexual abuse as well. In the cases recorded under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the NCRB has demarcated how many cases had male victims, though the numbers again suggest under-reporting. 

Overall in India, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of POCSO cases with 5,248 and 4,895 incidents respectively. The other states among the top ten were West Bengal (2,131), Karnataka (1,956), Gujarat (1,697), Chhattisgarh (1,676), Telangana (1,632), Tamil Nadu (1,587), Madhya Pradesh (1,569) and Bihar (1,356).

Murder with rape cases reported

Unlike 2016, when murder with rape was included under murder, the combination has a separate category in the 2017 NCRB data. Apart from looking at murder with rape, numbers are also given for murder with rape/POCSO adding a nuance to documenting violent sexual crimes against women and children. 

While a total of 151 children were found to be sexually assaulted and murdered in 2017, 227 women were reported to be raped and killed in the same year in 223 cases.  

Crimes by anti-national elements, ‘jihadi’ terrorists

The NCRB has introduced a chapter titled - 'Crimes Committed by Anti- National Elements'. A total of 783 cases have been registered under 'incidents of violence by Anti National elements', accounting for 132 deaths.

The chapter includes  - Crime Cases reported by North-East Insurgents (State/UT-wise), Crime Cases reported by Naxalites /LWEs (State/UT-wise), Crime Cases reported by Terrorists (Including Jihadi Terrorists) and Incidents of Violence by Anti National Elements and Arms Taken Away from Police/CAPFs by Anti National Elements. They do not, however, define who a Naxalite or an extremist is, in this context.

Demarcations under caste crimes

The NCRB report has demarcated incidents where only SC/ST Act was invoked against the accused and when sections of the IPC were added too. The report also documented ‘Forced to leave place of Residence/Social Boycott’ as a crime against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, as well as occupation or disposing of land that belongs to SCs/STs, prevention, denial or obstruction of usage of public place/passage. 

Under crimes against SC communities, 47 incidents of land grabbing, 63 incidents of social boycott, and 12 cases of obstruction or prevention of use of public spaces were reported in 2017. Against ST communities, there were 27 land grabbing /occupation incidents and 18 incidents of social boycott /ostracisation.

Period of pendency of cases with police and with courts

In addition to the crimes that have been added to the report, the pendency percentage of the crimes and the disposal rate has also been mentioned. The period of pendency of such crimes has also been mentioned in the report. As per the data, in the year 2017, there were 99,68,435 cases registered across India under the Indian Penal Code that were pending trial. 

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