GUJRAT: Though Gujrat district has witnessed a surge in the number of murders during the last year, the incidents of killing women have declined in 2023 as compared to 2022, as per official data.
According to official crime data, at least 173 people had been murdered in around 162 cases lodged with different police stations of the district during 2023, showing an increase in such incidents as compared to 2022 when 169 murders were reported.
The number of such incidents in 2021 was 155, as per official record.
If we go by the last three years` data, the incidents of murder have increased everyyear.
According to the police data, at least 25 women were murdered in some 23 incidents last year.
However, the data shows that in 2022 at least 39 women were murdered in Gujrat district, while 35 were killed in 2021.
Most of the women were killed either over `honour-related` issues or domestic disputes.
Police say that at least 45 suspects involved in the women`s murdershave been arrested during 2023. However, there was hardly any convictionin such cases during the past few years.
Police say that in most of the cases of women`s murder, close relatives become complainants and ultimately they end in reconciliation or granting pardon to the suspects, leaving little room for conviction of the suspects.
Poor investigation, low conviction rate, a lack of preventive measures and interest of police to resolve conflicts between the rival groups, have been identified as major reasons for the increasing murder incidents, says a senior lawyer.
He says that the old enmities between groups had also been a root cause of the alarming ratio of murder incidents in the district.
Moreover, he says Gujrat has witnessed a lack of consistency in tenures of district police officers (DPOs), as well as the station house officers (SHOs) during 2023.
The DPOs were changed at least four times in the year, whereas the SHOs were also transferred frequently, he says. He adds that in many cases SHOs were changed within a month or two, which adversely impacts the police performance.A spokesman for Gujrat police claims that at least 3,427 proclaimed offenders, including 492 of `A` category, had been arrested during 2023, whereas some 15 fugitives involved in murder cases had also been brought back from different countries through Interpolduringlastyear.He added that the IT (information technology) wing of the district police has also recovered at least 650 cell phones from thieves and robbers, using the latest technology. Meanwhile, 647 drug peddlers were also arrested in a drive against such elements launched last year, he said.