It is not an unknown fact that law and order in Uttar Pradesh is deplorable. In fact even using law and order in the same sentence as UP seems like an oxymoron. Law and order in UP has always been abysmally low and the current political dispensation has done little to change that image. On the contrary it has only furthered that image.
UP is the most populous state of India accounting for 16.4% of the population and the fourth largest state in the country. In fact UP would have been the sixth most populous country in the world if it were a country. The sheer size of these numbers warrants that it should have a robust and efficient policing system. But the statistics on crime rate in UP tell a different story.
As per the data of National Crime Records Bureau, there is an increase of 14% in IPC crimes in 2013 as compared to 1.51% increase in 2012.
Data of IPC Crimes registered in last 2 years
(Source: National Crime Records Bureau)
This data suggests that in the Sixteenth Assembly in Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Shri Akhilesh Yadav, inhabitants especially children, women & SCs did not find a safer place as is evident in the below diagrams. The diagram clearly reflects that crime against women rises to 38% in 2013 as compared to 4% in 2012.Crime against children inclined to 11.3% in 2013 as compared to 9.7% in 2012. Crime against SCs which had reduced to 19% in 2012 increases by 14% in 2013.To compound the problem further, the above data is of only those crimes that were registered. This means the above mentioned figures would be even bigger if unregistered crimes are taken into account.
However there is one ray of hope for the current political dispensation in UP. Crimes against STs have shown a sharp decline. As per the data of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), in 2013, crime against STs fell down by 43%.
Despite the fact that UP police is the largest police force anywhere in the world with more than 3, 60, 000 personnel, the constantly increasing crime rates across different strata of society in the state indicates that there is an inherent flaw in the entire police structure of UP and this can be attributed to a multiple of reasons. Firstly, the difference between the sanctioned police strength & the actual police strength-which measures no. of vacant seats, keeps on increasing. In 2013, the gap reaches to about 55% of sanctioned police strength as compared to about 50% in 2012.
The graph clearly shows the situation in Uttar Pradesh is a lot worse than Maharashtra or Tamil Nadu. While Maharashtra has been able to address the problem to a certain extent, Uttar Pradesh has failed to take concrete steps to solve this issue. This has made the existing police force overburdened with work.
In terms of policemen per one lakh of population, UP again lags behind Maharashtra and Gujarat. Both Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have been able to increase their numbers from 166 to 170 and from 132 to 148 respectively between 2009 and 2013. On the other hand UP which had a dismal level of only 76 policemen per one lakh of population, had initially registered a growth of more than 20 per cent till, 2011 increasing its no. to 94 policemen per lakh of population before again declining by 17 per cent between 2011 and 2013 to 78. This resulted in meagre 2 per cent net growth between 2009 and 2013.
Secondly, another major problem could be the meagre source of income lower rank officers in the police organization.
The above numbers are abysmally low. Such paltry sums will not be enough for the personnel considering the fact that most of them have a family to look after and rent to pay to keep a roof over their heads. What makes matter worst is that the State Government has faltered in the payment of even this amount. A report last year in Jagran stated that the police constables had not been paid their travel allowance for two years and a report in The Indian Express this year quoted a constable saying that the travel allowance was not enough to meet his expenses. These can be discouraging signs for people wanting to join the police force.
Thirdly, there has hardly been any increase in the no. of police stations in last 4 years keeping in mind the increasing crime rate in Uttar Pradesh. The most striking point is that not a single new women police station has been established in last 4 years. It is a well-established fact by now that there has to be increasing participation of women in matters related to governance and lawmaking to make the entire system more bipartisan. However UP police has taken no concrete steps in this direction.
Lastly and most importantly there has been an exponential increase in the no. of police deaths. In 2013 alone there were 85 policemen killed. Such figures not only discourage new people from joining police force but bring the morale of existing upright and honest police officers. If honest police officers are murdered for doing their duty and protecting the citizens, who would want to join the police establishment. This data alludes to a much deeper rot in the UP police. It points to the fact that those police officers who swear their allegiance to political leaders and subvert the laws to serve their masters are rewarded whereas those officers who uphold the rights of every citizen as mentioned in the constitution are killed.