Rape capital? No, Delhi is India’s ‘abduction capital’

By Rajnish Singh

New Delhi : With a whopping 21 kidnappings every day, Delhi recorded most “kidnappings and abductions” among all cities in the country in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

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Shockingly, Delhi is on the top among all 29 states and seven Union Territories with 37 kidnapping and abduction cases per 100,000 population in 2015, said the latest “Crime in India” report of the NCRB.

The national rate in this category was 6.6 per 100,000 people.

Of the 20,339 violent crimes registered in the national capital in 2015, kidnappings and abductions came on top with 7,730 cases.

In sheer numbers, Uttar Pradesh registered the maximum of 11,999 kidnappings and abductions in the country in 2015, followed by Maharashtra (8,255) and Delhi (7,730).

Bihar came fourth with 7,128 cases followed by Madhya Pradesh (6,778), West Bengal (6,115), Assam (5,831), Rajasthan (5,426), Haryana (3,520) and Odisha (3,236).

Delhi boy Afsar, now 10, was lucky to be reunited with his family on August 24 this year after his abduction in 2007 by a childless couple from a government hospital.

But kidnappings do not necessarily end on a happy note.

In most cases, criminals target children. But elders too get kidnapped — for ransom, murder, for taking revenge or for other reasons, the NCRB data showed. Some women were also abducted to force them into marriage.

Police sources admit that some cases of kidnapping never get reported to them as the affected families end up, at times, succumbing to the ransom demands of the criminals.

Kidnappings and abductions were followed by robbery (7,407 cases), rape (2,199), attempt to commit culpable homicide (1,003), attempt to commit murder (770), murder (570), arson (224), riot (130), dowry death (122), dacoity (75), culpable homicide not amounting to murder (58), attempt to commit rape (46) and making preparation for committing dacoity (5).

A senior Delhi Police officer told IANS that while the statistics do tell a story, “the reality is different”.

“When parents complain that their child is missing, we immediately register a case of kidnapping. In the case of the elderly, we register a case of missing until we feel there has been some foul play,” he said.

Police sources say many children are either traced or return to their families on their own.

“A total of 6,646 children were kidnapped in 2015. As always, tracing the missing children remained an important priority for Delhi Police. In each case of a missing child, an FIR (First Information Report) was registered promptly,” the officer said.

Delhi Police has been running ‘Operation Milap’, a campaign with an aim to unite the missing children with their parents as many left their home on their own.

The all-India figure for kidnapping and abduction in 2015 was 82,999, the NCRB report said.

Of the total, 1,260 victims ended up getting murdered, 774 were seized for ransom and 18,629 for “other” reasons. Also, 31,884 women were kidnapped for forcing them into marriage not of their choice.