Maharashtra tops the list when it comes to police firing incidents

Updated: Dec 11, 2017, 16:18 IST | Vijay Kumar Yadav

NCRB figures for 2016 shows Maharashtra topping the list of cops resorting to firing to control mobs, law and order situations

Believe it or not, Maharashtra beats even battleground Jammu and Kashmir when it comes to police firing incidents. Recent statistics have thrown up the startling fact that Maharashtra witnessed the maximum number of incidents in the country of police resorting to firing to control violent mobs, unrest or other lawlessness situations in 2016. Maharashtra had 44 cases, while J&K, where firing on protesting civilians is more norm than exception, had 42 cases.

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

In the recently released data by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Maharashtra topped the list with a total 44 incidents. J&K stood at number two with 42 cases, followed by Rajasthan and Haryana with 25 and 22 incidents respectively. Interestingly, UP, which hogs headlines for its lawlessness, remained at fifth place with 19 incidents of police firing. Bihar, interestingly, didn’t witness a single firing incident in 2016, claims NCRB data.

However, police firing as a last resort to control law and order remained the most effective in Maharashtra as despite recording the maximum number of police firing incidents, the state also recorded the least number of civilian casualties.

As per statistics, in 44 police firing incidents in the state last year, 11 (3 in the year 2015) civilians were killed and 19 were injured, whereas Haryana topped the list of highest number of civilian causalities with 22 killings (just 2 in 2015) and 107 people injured.

Haryana is followed by Assam and J&K with 16 and 15 civilian casualties, respectively. J&K saw the maximum number of people injured in police firing, with a figure of 189, followed by Rajasthan at 107. In Maharashtra only 19 people were injured.

NCRB data also shows that in J&K, a whopping 548 cops were hurt in public unrest. Maharashtra and Karnataka stood second with 36 cops getting wounded while controlling violent mobs.

"Our state recorded the least number of casualties. This indicates that the police force resorted to firing only as a last effective measure to check violence," said a senior police officer requesting anonymity.

Another officer said that the police in the state believe in responding to any situation as quickly as possible to contain the unrest and prevent its spread in other regions.

Former state DGP Pravin Dixit said the police are not at all keen on firing. It is only under exceptional circumstances and as a last resort that they opt for firing. These circumstances could be lawlessness, politically driven unrest, social issues or unrest due to a particular crime.

The former senior IPS officer said, "Figures are little strange and surprising as I don’t recall a single firing incident between January and July 2016. In fact, overall, the year has been peaceful."

He added, "Even the naxal-affected regions were very peaceful last year. Also, last year saw the maximum surrenders by naxalites." Dixit said that the statistics must be relooked at.

He added that in 2016, the interaction between cops and the public was so intense that it resulted in maximum dialogue. "We had raised over th­ree lakh civilians as police mitras who would work to defu­se situations before they took a bigger shape."

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