Monday, 14 March 2005

Women in Andhra Pradesh not safe from kidnappings

2005
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 14: The crime-hit Laluland seems to be safer than Andhra Pradesh at least when it comes to kidnapping of people, particularly women and girls.
If statistics are any indication, for every person kidnapped in Laloo Prasad Yadav's Bihar, three persons are abducted in YSR's Andhra Pradesh. This simply means Andhra Pradesh is 200 per cent worse than Bihar in kidnapping incidents. And the number of cases of "missing persons" is steadily increasing by about six per cent in the State.
According to State police records, as many as 1014 persons including about 800 women and girls were kidnapped during 2004. This is in contrast to around 350 incidents of abduction reported in Bihar. So far this year, about 250 cases of kidnapping were reported all over the State.
Last year Hyderabad city alone reported 60 cases of kidnapping and if the incidents within Cyberabad police limits are also included the number goes up to 130 cases. Twin cities are followed by Warangal with 70 incidents. Former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu's native Chittoor stands third among districts in the State in terms of total number of abductions.
Andhra Pradesh is notorious for its specialised kidnapping gangs which employ kidnapped children in forced child labour and begging. The abducted women are forced into prostitution. The CID maintains a list of such gangs but quite often fails to curb abductions. On an average 20 kidnappings take place every week in the State.
While the incidents of "missing persons" went up by seven per cent, those of kidnappings remained constant between 2003 (1029 cases) and 2004 (1014). If all types of "bodily offences" are put together, the total number of cases shoot up to 2892 during January 2005 alone. This is in contrast with 2570 cases in December 2004.
Officials attribute to the high incidence of kidnapping and other offences in the State due to lack of sufficient manpower, particularly women in the police department. The police to population ratio in the State is 1:1000 as against 1.6:1000 for all-India average. Ironically, women police staff make just 1.6 per cent of the State's total police force.
MIM floor leader Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday took the "friendly" Congress government by surprise in the State Assembly when he said the rule of Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy was worse than that of Lalu Prasad Yadav's in Bihar. "Not a day passes without three persons kidnapped in the State. The government has utterly failed to control kidnappings", he pointed out.

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