Jharkhand, the state that was carved out of the tribal-dominated areas of Bihar in 2000, leads the country with highest rate of crime for the year 2018, while Chhattisgarh, which was also formed at the same time from the tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh, has the highest incidence of rape.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s annual ‘Crime in India’ report, Jharkhand and Haryana are the two large states with the highest rates of murder, while Kerala reported the lowest murder rates in India.
In 2018, 5.19 persons out of every 1 lakh persons living in Jharkhand were murdered, while the figure was 4.35 persons for Haryana.
Strangely, some of the North Eastern states, which score well in education and awareness levels, tended to show up in the high murder states.
For example, Assam had the third highest murder rate of all big states with a a score of 3.98 people murdered out of every 1 lakh population.
Sleepy little Arunachal Pradesh, at the easternmost corner of India, too had a high murder rate of 4.48 per lakh.
Out of the top five states with high murder rates, three belonged to the North East — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Tripura. Meghalaya was at No.8 with a rate of 3.20 per lakh persons.
The all-India average was 2.40 persons murdered out of every 1 lakh population.
Delhi, which has a bad reputation as being the ‘crime capital’ of India, was at No.9 with a rate of 3.06.
Bihar, often considered lawless, saw 2.82 people get killed during the year out of every 1 lakh persons living in the state.
Since the population numbers are taken from the 2011 census and Bihar is a state with a fast-growing population, it is likely that when adjusted for the real population numbers, the rate would be lower, at around 2.6 or so.
Uttar Pradesh, with which Bihar is often compared, saw murder rates well below the national average, at 2.01.
On the other hand, crime rates tend to be higher in areas where reporting tends to be robust. When murders are not reported or registered, crime rates can seem low.
Coming back to the North Eastern states, Nagaland — with 1.57 — and Sikkim (1.97) score well below the national average.
On the other extreme, the safest state in India was Kerala, with a murder rate of just 0.87 in 2018. It was also the only state where the likelihood of getting killed was below 1 in a lakh.
The next safest state was Himachal Pradesh, with 1.44 per lakh.
Surprisingly, Jammu & Kashmir scored pretty high in terms of safety, with a murder rate of just 1.48 per lakh.
Gujarat (1.77), Andhra Pradesh (1.89) and Maharashtra (1.96) were other relatively safe states.
At 1.99, Goa, a state with which Kerala is often compared, had a higher murder rate compared to neighboring Maharashtra.
Among the Union Territories, the safest was Lakshadweep, with 1.55 persons getting murdered in 2018 for every 1 lakh people living in the area.
The most dangerous, as already indicated, is Delhi, with a murder rate of 3.06.