With the poll season catching up, the NCRB--repository of data related to crimes and criminals in the country-- has for the first time decided to tabulate and record a new category of "election related crimes".
The National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB) is in the process of finalising a "reporting format" which will soon be circulated among all the states and Union Territories which will be used by them to report to the agency about all crimes which take place before, during and just after polls-- both during Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
Sources said a necessity to create a new and separate category for election crimes was felt after a recent meeting held by various police stakeholders in the Home Ministry found that there was no representative data for these offences across the country. The Election Commission (EC), the sources said, was also concerned by the fact that no comprehensive data of criminal activities was centrally available currently.
"Instances of clashes, attacks, killings, transport of illegal inducements like liquor and cash take place in the run up to the polls. Criminal acts of booth capturing, firing and looting of EVMs are also reported across various states during polls. These are some of the broad categories which the NCRB will begin tabulating soon," a senior official said.
The NCRB, according to the sources, will tabulate all these data under one head which will help the police department and other agencies, including EC, involved in preparations and conduct of polls in the country. "The EC, over the last years, has been insisting on curbing the use of black money at the hustings with the help of enforcement agencies and the Income Tax department. This exercise has been registering a lot of activities and these would be a part of the new NCRB database," the official said.
The data prepared and compiled by the agency comes handy for extensive usage by a multitude of government agencies and non-governmental organisations in their different pursuits and even preparation of new policies and better laws against crimes and in cases of criminal reforms.
The NCRB, headquartered in the national capital, is mandated to function as a clearing house of information on crime and criminals including those operating at national and international levels so as to assists the investigators, and others in linking crimes to their perpetrators.
The department was created in 1986.