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In Assam 17 people are abducted a day, many of them for love

Thursday, 15 June 2017 12:28
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Guwahati, June 14: Six days after she went missing from Silchar in Assam, three-year-old Trisha was left unharmed by her abductors at Khliehriat in neighbouring Meghalaya last Saturday.

There is no trace yet of the housemaid who allegedly took the daughter of a professor at Assam University while both parents (her mother is a doctor in the same university) were away.

From the day she disappeared the news remained in headlines in local papers and news channels. The girl’s recovery was also reported by national papers. But very few cases of kidnapping or abduction in Assam get such attention.

Though the figures aren’t close to states like Uttar Pradesh, which witnessed the highest number of kidnappings and abductions (11999-NCRB-2015), the malaise is rampant in Assam.

As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) stats for 2015, the rate of abductions and kidnappings (number of cases per 100,000 people) in Assam during 2015 was 18.1----second only to Delhi where the rate was 37.0.

The state recorded 5,831 cases in 2015---contributing 7% of the total abductions and kidnappings across India. Assam also reported maximum victims between 30-45 years, accounting for 22% (2,016 of the 9,139 cases) of the total cases.

Assam Police records for the past decade also show how kidnappings have risen steadily over the years.

From 1,818 cases in 2006, the state witnessed 6,137 cases in 2016—second only to cases of theft (12,846). The figures show, on an average close to 17 kidnappings took place daily in 2016.

The trend continues this year too. Over 1000 cases were registered in the first two months itself. But despite the growing figures, police officials inform no organised criminal gangs are involved unlike in some other states.

“Cases of kidnappings for ransom are not many in Assam. Abductions by militant groups have also gone down. Most registered cases in Assam are of elopement for marriage,” Assam Police chief Mukesh Sahay said.

As per NCRB-2015, 4,141 cases reported in 2015 were for the purpose of marriage. In contrast, only 84 cases of kidnapping for ransom were reported. Similar trend was recorded in the past four years too.

Assam Police records show nearly 5,000 of the 6,000 plus cases registered in 2016 were kidnappings of women and girls.

Only two cases in the past 12 months grabbed media attention---both were of working parents who left their children alone at home with their maids.

One of them was that of 7-year-old girl who was rescued with 24 hours. The child was abducted by her maid from Guwahati in August last year, while her parents, both doctors, were away on work. While few high-profile cases hog the headlines. Thousands of others don’t fail to get such attention.

“We have solved many cases of kidnappings across the state. But only a few get highlighted in media,” said Mukesh Agrawal, additional director general of police (law and order) told HT.

Agrawal should know. He has successfully handled both the Silchar and Guwahati cases and many others.

“Media in Assam is focused on insurgency related events. Since kidnappings by militant groups have gone down, media fails to highlight the trend of rise in abductions and limit themselves to highlighting prominent cases,” Nava Thakuria, senior journalist and president of Guwahati Press Club said

Besides kidnappings for ransom and those connected to elopement, trafficking is also a factor for abductions in the state.

With 1494 cases, the state accounts for 22% of the total reported cases of trafficking across India. Assam also has the highest number of child trafficking---1317 cases, which account for 38% of the national figure.

“The increase in kidnapping figures could be attributed to increased awareness among public and better record of the state police in registering cases,” said a senior police official on condition of anonymity. 

(Courtesy: HT)

 

Figures

# Steady increase in kidnappings in Assam from 1818 in 2006 to 6137 in 2016.

# Assam has the second highest rate of kidnappings in India after Delhi

# In 2015 Assam reported most abductions (22%) between 30-45 years in India

# On an average 17 kidnappings take place in Assam daily

# Nearly 5,000 of the 6,137 cases in 2016 were abductions of women and girls

#Assam accounts 22% of the total reported cases of trafficking in India

#The state recorded 1317 cases of child trafficking in 2015—highest in India


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