CM Devendra Fadnavis to Opposition: Law and order better than in your regime
Devendra Fadnavis produces official statistics as a strong counter, and accuses Cong-NCP leaders of trying to stall development of his hometown, by calling it a crime capital
Following a serious attack by Opposition leaders, CM Devendra Fadnavis retaliated strongly in the winter session yesterday when he countered allegations that Maharashtra has become a crime hub, and his hometown, Nagpur, its capital. He produced the National Record Bureau's statistics and said that the central agency had ranked the state and city much below what the opposition leaders have claimed.
Fadnavis said the state wasn't ranked first or second as alleged by Ajit Pawar and others, but it was 13th countrywide with a crime rate (IPC crime) much below the national average. "You are misleading people by producing baseless statistics. We are not in the first five, as you said yesterday. The crime rate has decreased significantly as compared to your (Congress-NCP) regime. One cannot compare a huge state like Maharashtra with Goa on a parameter of population," he said while replying to a debate on law and order, on the last day of the session.
According to Fadnavis, crimes under major heads such as murders, attempted murders, rapes, rioting and chain snatching were quite few this year. "The number of thefts have increased because the police have started registering missing mobile cases as thefts. We registered 14,000 such cases," he said.
The conviction rate has improved in the state, said the CM. The rate has increased to 34.5% from 8% in 2008, with a new high in the past three years. The reasons the CM gave for this were mobile forensic facilities in all districts and gathering of scientific evidence.
99% rape accused known to victims
Fadnavis admitted that there was an increase in crimes against women, primarily because of social awareness in the wake of the amended law and a wider definition of this crime. "Freedom to register a complaint is helping victims and their families in filing FIRs. Among 3,786 rape accused, 3,781 are known to the victims and their families (98.81%). This proves that people have increased faith in the new law and they are coming forward to nail the guilty," he said.
Similarly, there is a spike in kidnapping cases of children, said the CM, adding that the increase was technical because the missing cases were compulsorily registered as kidnapping as per Supreme Court's order. "The Union Home Ministry has given Maharashtra a special mention for the best work in solving cases. Our police have traced 20,112 children and sent them home safely this year (2017)."
Conspiracy to defame Nagpur
Fadnavis said it pained him when the opposition gave misleading information about crimes in Nagpur. "I know you cannot see Nagpur developing. Why do you defame the city nationally and internationally? It is because you want to divert investment that is coming to Nagpur? Are you on a mission to give Nagpur a bad name?" he asked.
"Nagpur was the crime capital when you were in power. A social science institute that has been conducting surveys to determine safety perception index since you were in power has now certified that the city is much, much safer than what you project it to be. Compared to your times, all major crimes have reduced," the CM told the opposition.
Is Munna really my friend?
Refuting the allegation that he was protecting a 'murder' accused, BJP leader and chairman of a state-controlled corporation, Munna Yadav, Fadnavis mentioned an NCP leader in Sangli, Sachin Sawant, who, he said was reported to be a caretaker of NCP's Jayant Patil's constituency and the leader's close friend. "People say so, Mr Patil. Would you believe this? If you don't, then please rely on information that Munna is my constituency's caretaker and my dear friend. The police are finding him and will arrest him. But before levelling direct allegations against me, one must find what kind of cases are registered against him (Munna). It's a dispute between relatives," Fadnavis said.
High Court to decide Eknath Khadse's fate
When asked about inquiries against three ministers, Eknath Khadse, Prakash Mehta and Subhash Desai who face corruption charges, Fadnavis said the high court was handling Khadse's case. "We had requested the court to wait for our inquiry report but it asked to file an FIR in the case. In this situation the state panel's inquiry and its fact-finding report has no relevance because the ACB is probing it under the court's directive," he said.
This means Khadse will not make a comeback to Cabinet until the high court clears him. In case of Mehta, said Fadnavis, the Lokayukta had decided on terms of references after a primary probe, and asked the minister to respond to him. He said the probe against Desai was in the last phase.
Murder of female cop suspected
Fadnavis confirmed that the police were investigating a murder angle in a missing woman police officer's case. Police Inspector Abhay Kurundkar and constable Raju Patil are accused in the disappearance of assistant police inspector Ashwini Jaykumar Bidre alias Ashwini Raju Gore. Bidre, a resident of Roadpali in Kalamboli, has been missing since April 15, 2016. The issue was raised by opposition in a bid to establish that even police officers were involved in heinous crimes.
The conviction rate in the state
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