ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Missing Children in India

Missing children in India is among the most serious issues in child protection. A large number of children go missing each year. Several factors for a child going missing include the linkage of missing children with child trafficking. Considering the seriousness of the issue, especially over the past decade or so, there has been a multipronged approach in India towards expediting the tracing of missing children. This article briefly examines the different categories of missing children, and incidence/prevalence of missing children. It affirms the need for contextualising the issue of missing children within the larger discourse of child vulnerability, marginalisation, and child protection.

How Real Is the Crime Decline in India?

Since 1991 in India, the crime rates of both property-related crimes and violent crimes, except crimes against women, have fallen significantly. While the decreasing trend is undisputed in Western nations, the perception in India is that the crime data has been manipulated by the police. The examination of constituent units composed of a diverse selection of districts in India suggests that the trends are generally similar across the country and are not an outcome of deliberate police practices. Police practices do not present any evidence of geographical bias in the registration of crime.

Migrant Crisis in Kerala

The Kerala government is under pressure to enforce action to deal with the rising migrant population in the state after the arrest of a migrant labourer as the suspect of rape and murder of Jisha, a Dalit law student. Keeping track of the migrant population in the absence of an identification database would violate the constitutional provisions of the right to work. By launching an insurance scheme to incentivise migrants to voluntarily register themselves, the government is planning to track migrant workers. Profiling by the state, even under the garb of welfare schemes, will further justify the existing middle-class ire against domestic and regional migrant labour.

Underscoring Political-Criminal Nexus

The incident of communal violence in Agarpur, Vaishali, Bihar in November 2015, clearly points to the widespread nexus among hoodlums, politicians with criminal records, and the police in the state. Dismantling this criminal patronage network, which perpetuates communalism and casteism and exacerbates lawlessness, is one of the biggest challenges that confronts the Nitish Kumar regime.

'City of Dreadful Night'

By cleansing the archival records of the cobwebs of biases and officialese which shroud their language and style, the modern historian can plumb to their depths the dark nooks and corners of the underworld of colonial Calcutta, and look at them from a fresh angle. It will raise a number of queries about colonial criminology - Who were the criminals in 19th century Calcutta? How were they made? What was the nature of their crimes? To what extent did they bring forth the colonial penal system, and in what measure did this newly organised system of detection, prosecution and punishment, in its turn, create new types of crime? This essay attempts to wrestle with these questions and suggests a few explanations while inviting responses from historians engaged in research in the field.

Torture in Colonial India

The impact of colonialism also evidenced itself in the attempts to establish a codified system of criminal law that differentiated and separated itself from the 'native' law that preceded it. Despite such attempts, native practices had their own uses in enforcing discipline as seen in the incidents that unfold in the 'Nassick Torture Case' and elaborated further in this paper. The paper also probes issues related to fear and suffering while also enunciating the social scientists' dilemma of needing to represent and reproduce violence without fetishising or merely re-enacting it.

Crimes against Women in India

Data on crime in India are published annually by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). These are compiled from records of police stations all over the country and refer to reported and registered crime. For recent years the data cover crimes against women in some detail, disaggregated to the district level. Reporting of crime tends to be incomplete; so the data are prima facie suspect. Nevertheless, they may be useful in studying regional variations, considering that underreporting is a universal feature. Social scientists have neglected the study of crime despite its increasing presence in our daily lives. This paper is an attempt to see what official, published data reveal, whether there are clear-cut regional patterns and if so whether they can lead to meaningful hypotheses for future work.
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