Fadnavis claims dip in state’s crime rate, says more action being taken against drug rackets | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Fadnavis claims dip in state’s crime rate, says more action being taken against drug rackets

Dec 21, 2023 07:32 AM IST

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of Maharashtra has dismissed opposition charges of a breakdown in law and order, citing figures that show a decrease in the total number of crimes in the state. He also countered claims of increasing drug-related cases, stating that his government has taken action in over 40,000 such cases since assuming power. Fadnavis insisted that the state is relatively safe compared to other states in the country. The opposition had criticized Fadnavis over the deteriorating law and order situation, particularly in Nagpur, which they claimed had become the crime capital of Maharashtra. Fadnavis argued that the crime rate in Nagpur has actually decreased.

NAGPUR: Dismissing charges levelled by the opposition in the state assembly regarding breakdown of law and order, deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds charge of the home portfolio, cited figures on Wednesday showing the total number of crimes in Maharashtra had come down from 3,94,017 in 2020 to 3,74,038 in 2022. He also countered the opposition’s charge of increasing drug-related cases in the state, saying the government took action in over 40,000 such cases since assuming power, compared with 5,321 cases in 2021 and 13,125 cases in 2022, during the tenure of the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

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As per data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Maharashtra occupied the sixth position among all states in terms of the total number of crime cases in 2022, behind Delhi, Kerala, Haryana, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh. But Fadnavis insisted that NCRB data should be interpreted in per capita terms instead of the overall number of cases.

He said the state occupied the 16th position vis-a-vis rape cases and the seventh position with regards atrocities on women in proportion to its total population. “Maharashtra is relatively safe and peaceful for its residents compared to several other states in the country,” said Fadnavis.

Earlier, opposition members, particularly Nana Patole from the Congress and Jayant Patil from the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharad Pawar faction), targeted the deputy chief minister over the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. Patole said 557 guns were recovered from Nagpur last year, which was very high compared to 274 guns found in Mumbai and 250 guns found in Pune. Other legislators from Vidarbha claimed that Nagpur, Maharashtra’s second capital, had in fact become its crime capital.

Responding to the criticism, Fadnavis said that some people were deliberately painting Nagpur as the crime capital to defame the city. “In fact, the crime rate of Nagpur has decreased in comparison to the previous year,” he said.

The deputy chief minister also mentioned that drug kingpin Lalit Patil had initiated operations at his factory in 2020, when the MVA was in power. The MVA government had, in fact, refrained from permitting the police to seek custody of Patil from the high court, despite recommendations in favour of such action.

“Our government maintains a zero-tolerance stance on drugs and has taken action in over 40,000 cases since assuming power last year. In contrast, the MVA government took action in just 5,321 cases in 2021 and 13,125 cases in 2022,” said Fadnavis.

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