Nitish Kumar, in alliance with the BJP, is going to lead the state once again after the alliance reached majority following Assembly elections. One of the causes for Kumar’s victory is considered his record in controlling law and order. Is this claim accurate?
Lalu Prasad Yadav ruled Bihar from 1990 to 2005, towards the end through his wife Rabri Devi. Nitish Kumar has been chief minister since 2005, except for a few months in 2014 when he stepped down following the Lok Sabha polls. The NDA claims that since Kumar has come to power, there has been a major improvement in the law and order situation. A fact check into these claims and a reading of the data proves that the picture is not as black and white. According to NCRB, the absolute number of murders steadily increased through the 90s and started to fall from an all-time high of 5,356 in 2000 to 3,138 in 2019 — a decline that started during the RJD tenure and continued into the Nitish-era. Taking purely Nitish Kumar’s rule, between 2005 and 2019 there was a 9.5 per cent drop in murders, according to NCRB.
Between 2005 and 2019, attempted murder cases rose by 125 per cent and kidnapping and abductions rose by nearly 300 per cent, according to NCRB. Regarding cases of kidnapping, however, a majority of the cases are related to women and girls i.e families filing cases against elopement. Here, Bihar Police’s breakdown that shows kidnapping for ransom is a better marker for the incidence of crime. According to this, there were only 43 kidnappings for money in 2019, an 82.8 per cent fall from 2005.
There was a steady decrease in rapes which fell by 36 per cent. Dacoity fell steeply by 67 per cent while rioting and robberies have been fluctuating.