West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee and Union Home Minister Amit Shah
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee and Union Home Minister Amit Shah
Image source: ANI/Twitter

When it comes to crime in West Bengal, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has not received the 2019 crime records from Mamata Banerjee’s state. At a time when Trinamool Congress (TMC) along with other opposition parties like the Congress are taking to the streets to hit out at the BJP led Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh over the alleged gang-rape incident in Hathras, what about looking internally at the crimes in West Bengal?

Though noone from the State administration has confirmed why the data for crime for the previous year was not sent to the Centre, sources say that it was a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Government officials were busy handling the unprecedented health situation to hit the globe in a century. The state missed the deadline of June 30th due to the pandemic and sent it in July. Data from other states were already collected by then and corroborated by the NCRB. For West Bengal, the 2018 figures were used. But what is the scenario for crime in Mamata’s state in 2019?

According to Statista, the German online portal for statistics, ‘The number of death sentences imposed by courts in West Bengal in India amounted to eight in 2019. Over 102 capital punishment verdicts were handed out in total across the nation in 2019. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh were the leading states in terms of the number of death row convicts across the south Asian nation.”

This might be some relief to the ruling TMC government that has been questioned over the 2019 crime figures in the state. However, another question is, when it comes to the NCRB data of accidental deaths and suicides(ADSI) in India, which was updated in September 2020, the figures for West Bengal for 2019 have been included.

When it comes to the ADSI data, West Bengal did not feature in the top 10 for highest number of deaths in road accidents in 2019 according to NCRB. The highest number of deaths due to road accidents was reported in Uttar Pradesh followed by Madhya Pradesh in the same year. West Bengal is 11th in the list of the number of deaths due to road accidents in the country in 2019 going by the report.

This brings up another question, the state managed to send in the ADSI data on time despite the COVID-19 pandemic? Then why the delay when it comes to data on crime in West Bengal? Is the government trying to conceal figures that their reason for not sending data on time for crime in West Bengal can be taken as a valid enough reason?

At a time when West Bengal goes to polls next year, the West Bengal administration is trying its best to show that the state has handled crime and the overall law and order situation effectively. Though records on crime would be part of the valid proof of the state’s claims, which are missing from the NCRB records.

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Free Press Journal