With COVID at the doors, India had a very tough phase. The country with over 1.3 billion people took heavy damage. As the country was preparing for a long-term pandemic, it did not stop the rise of crimes around the country. The national capital, Delhi, which is often considered as the most dangerous city of the country witnessed around 2000 cases of crime during the crucial lockdown period from 15 March to 31 March. Crimes related to theft, molestation, murder, etc. were witnessed in various corners of the country.
Due to COVID, many Indians lost their jobs and some had to resort to go back to their native places. This included the salaried as well as daily earners. Financially, citizens had to incur a huge loss. The loss of employment and money further contributed to the development of crime.
During the 4-month long total lockdown period, a whole lot of crimes were witnessed around the country. Not only the rural and semi-urban towns documented crime, but urban cities also contributed fairly in the list of criminal cases. With cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Chennai badly infected by COVID and mass unemployment, criminal cases rose badly. Before going further, there are a few things that you need to know about urban crime in India:
Urban centres of the country had more unreported than reported cases. There were a few reports shared on the web about the many unreported COVID cases but that is for next time. Thefts and harassment became a common thing and many of them were either under-reported or not reported.
The cases in mega-cities rose tremendously which became a tense situation for the police department to handle. Several victims were told to either solve the disputes in the initial stage or others went unreported. Over 60% of cases in the Indian cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, Patna, Lucknow and Kolkatta were unreported. On the other side, around 99% of rape cases go unreported according to a report.
Delay in justice is a fairly common thing in India, but during the lockdown period it turned into a massacre. As courts did not function timely, the pending, as well as newer cases were kept open. The delay in the judgments and the slow trial via video conferencing made things even more complex.
Other than the delay, even gathering evidence and recording statements from the victims became hectic. As cities were suffering from the lockdown, things turned from bad to worse. Other than the Supreme Court and the High Courts of the respective states, no common court and local courts were functioning at a promising pace. These indirectly-motivated people to venture for newer crimes, like cybercrime.
Politics in India never ends. Be it a pandemic or a war, politics will always have a crucial position in the arena and playing grounds of Indian cities.
As the number of active cases was rising in the country, state governments were being toppled in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Politicians clearly don’t care about the impact of COVID on the masses and were busy matching their party’s flag with that of their masks. On top of that, state governments were being changed in the bigger Indian states and name-game of faults and cheating was being practised in the rooms of the parliament. This resulted in violence across several cities as well as some protests which were peaceful and violent in nature.
Indians in mega-cities were facing many problems, one of them being lack of support from government agencies. With things like a sudden spike in the electricity bills, increasing prices of goods and fuel etc. made things uncontrollable for the urban tenants
Citizens who were financially hit by the pandemic had to resort to some other sources of funds as the government turned a blind eye to them. This further eroded the lifestyle of the people. On top of that, essential commodities like fruits, grains, oil, etc. ran out of supply or were sold in the black market for higher rates.Taking into account, the state, as well as the central government had different things on their agenda. They ignored the core issues and solely focused on the top things
As jails around the mega-cities were already filled with inmates, the violators during the lockdown period were either kept in temporary jails or were freed on bonds. The authorities had already supposed the jail rules as COVID made it impossible to invite more tenants.
People who committed a crime were not taken into custody. A basic report and a background check were done and later they were taken for a temporary jail term. This further eroded people in resorting to crime to satisfy their psychological as well as financial needs.